Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Quick Thaw: 1-25-16 to 1-31-16

Well that didn't take too long.  This is the way I enjoy the snow.  Play in it for a couple of days and then go back to normal.  My plan for this week was to pack on miles early and then taper for Saturday's Charlestown Chili 5K.  I hoped to have a good race while fretting about course set up and helping with directing. 

Monday: 14 mile double.  First light keeps coming earlier and earlier these days.   I got out about 10 minutes after my son hopped on the middle school bus and ran a Burdickville Rd (plus a little more) out and back.  Decent hills in both directions.  5 miles in 36:08 with 397' of climbing.  In the afternoon I donned my snowshoes for the third day in a row and checked out the conditions at Ryan Park.  I was happy to see a lot less snow than Burlingame and there were many snowshoe and other tracks already on most of the trails.  I basically ran the 10K course in just over an hour.  Not too bad.  I then ran another mile on the road without the snowshoes as a cool down. 

Tuesday: 15 mile double.  Another early morning start from the house, this time out and back on Buckeye Brook Rd.  More good hills.  5 miles in 35:54 with 379' of climbing.  Things were melting pretty fast and trails and roads seemed like gross options.  I opted to run up and down the straight hilly roads in Saunderstown despite exhausted legs.  I felt slow and out of shape on the climbs. I also had a stiff headwind going up.  The weather was nice though and I shuffled along my planned route.  10 miles in 1:13:07 (faster than I assumed) with 1,342' of elevation gain. 

Wednesday: 9 miles - T paced mile repeats in Wickford.  Work has been more demanding these days and I couldn't make the time to meet Galoob at the URI indoor track.  I ended up doing a solo workout on a road loop mile near my work.  The Waldron Mile segment was created 3 years ago and used a couple of times by myself, Mike, and Gunshow.  It's a quiet neighborhood, with slightly undulating terrain.  It's a fun spot for this sort of thing.  My plan was 5 x 1 mile @ T pace with 1 minute recoveries.  I was worried about how tired my legs have been due to mileage and snowshoe running, but this workout went extremely well.  Results: 5:52/5:50/5:52/5:47/5:48.  These felt smooth!  Total time 57:47. 

Thursday: 6 miles - Calf Pasture Point+ easy run.  Tired.  Most of this run was on sand along the bay.  Total time: 50:19.  Checked out Ninigret - looks like the 5K course has melted nicely and Saturday's weather is looking good! 

Friday: 6 miles - Ryan Park sloppy trails alone.  Some wet snow remains, but mostly just bare trails that are very muddy in many places.  I zigzagged on the western side for 48:32. 

Saturday: 12 miles - Charlestown Chili 5K - 1st overall, 17:51.  This event was an overwhelming success.  I began marking the course at 10:30 (1PM start).  After finalizing the measuring last week,  I now was concerned with this task.  The issue is that Ninigret Park can be confusing - many unmarked paved lanes and open terrain.  I really wanted to make sure no one got off course.  This meant first driving around and putting out large cones in places, placing mile markers, as well as setting up arrows for turns.  This was more complicated by the mostly frozen ground and also the wind (I searched around for rocks to keep the cones from moving).  I then ditched my car and jogged the course with a backpack of flags (big thanks to Galoob for letting me borrow all his stuff!!).  This process took way longer than I thought and by the time I was done, it was 12:15!  I then grabbed my snow shovel to clear two corners of snow and ice (plowed in).  Meanwhile the place was filling up with people.  There were plenty of familiar faces both from the Charlestown Early Learning Center (the pre-school that the race was for) and WTAC runners (thanks for the support!).  Things finally seemed good to go.  I was exhausted!!  I warmed up, but legs just felt shot.  Oh well.  Laura (the first time RD) got the kids race off just before 1PM which both my kids did. 

Kids race start.  All photos by Danielle Burbo Photography. 

Jackson finished in 3rd. 
Ellie was 3rd girl, 6th overall. 

It was now time for the 5K.  Somehow I found myself in the back of the parking lot at my car getting my kids settled in (my wife was also running the 5K).  There was whining.  Then I heard a horn.  I looked up and noticed that the race had begun!  For a second I thought about just forgetting about it, but then I took off across the parking lot to get to the race. 

Race start.  Great turn out! 
I jumped into the back of the race and weaved my way up to the front.  By the quarter mile mark, I took the lead.  I wasn't feeling great, but the rush of adrenaline was helping me.  By the half mile mark, it seemed that I was going to run the rest of the race as a time trial.  Unfortunately, I never started my watch in the confusion, so I had no idea how fast I was going.  I pushed along creating more space when I would get glances at turns.  Despite two of my arrow signs blowing over, everyone was staying on course which was a relief.  At times there was a stiff headwind, but you never ran in the same direction for long (which was my plan when I designed the course).  I convinced myself that I was running fast.  I was feeling good.  I kept picking up the pace on the final mile and then got a visual on the clock.  High 17:40's. Ugh.  I motored through to a 17:51 finishing time.  Not what I was planning, but the day was such a success that I don't really care.  It is funny to think that about a month ago I ran the course relatively hard on a very cold morning in 17:43. 
Finishing up. 
Crossing the line. 
It was fun to then watch the rest of the runners finish up the race.  I was stoked for Jon Short to finish 4th overall and average in the 6's for the first time in years.  My wife pushed herself harder than her usual runs and my dad did well as well.  So many young kids did the 5K.  I began getting chilly and then realized I had a long course clean up in front of me.  Better get it over with.  Off I went picking up flags and signs.  It seemed to go by faster than set up, but I was gone a long time.  Things were winding down back at the community center by the time I got back.  In total there were 150+ participants in the races today.  Laura did an awesome job directing this race!  I'm glad I could help out. 
Sunday: 10 miles - Grills Preserve trails alone.  I wasn't feeling that chipper, but it was a nice morning and I wanted to run anyway.  I decided to run around Grills Preserve, hoping that it wasn't too muddy.  I perked up as I went along and had a great run on both sides of the river.  Total time: 1:19:59. 
Overall:  I probably over did it early in the week and ruined my shot at a PR attempt at the 5K.  Not that missing the start and setting up for 2.5 hours before hand helped either.  I NEED to take it easy next week as the Belleville Pond Trail 10K is on Saturday.  Looks like clear trails in (one of) my home park.  Can't wait! 
Weekly Total: 72 miles
Last Week: 67 miles
Year to Date: 313 miles
January Total: 313 miles


  1. Arriving 2.5hrs early and still missing the start must be some sort of record! ;)
    Congrats on the win! You look good rocking the Wild Endurance singlet!

  2. Ps. You also look like you've been going to tanning booths all winter!

  3. You do look like you've been tanning!! And really a well designed course, as I think about it we were never in one direction to terribly long! Well done Jonny! Congratulations on the win with a late start to boot!

  4. Jackson and Ellie look great. Nice work!

  5. You are currently have more miles than me (end of January). I gotta get my butt in gear!