2016 ended with a great, mostly trail run. First it was a group of 6 WTACers running from Ashville Pond, north on the Narragansett Trail to Camp Yawgoog. Then we ran around Hidden Lake, connected with Tippecansett Trail, and followed north to Beach Pond. This was a nice casual pace and very enjoyable for me. Muddy and I then made a loop back to Ashville Pond via the techy and remote Deep Pond and Dye Hill Trails, and then jumping on roads (mostly Canonchet) back. We passed 9 ponds on this route: Ashville, Long, Ell, Yawgoog, Hidden Lake, Beach, Deep, Grassy, and Wincheck. I surpassed the 3,000 mile mark on Strava during this run. I didn't try to keep track of my real miles, but I'm guessing around 3,200 or so.
Monday: 7 miles - 1:04:40. Slow technical trails in Burlingame. I zeroed on the 1st (Sunday) thanks to a busy day with family and a chest cold. Today was the last day of vacation for everyone, so we took it slow. I still had crud in my chest, but got out for an easy run on Sammy C's down to VG to Schoolhouse Pond to Secret and back to VG. I ended with 4 random length strides on the road.
Tuesday: 0 - 0:00. Wild day at work and very rainy. I didn't bother to even entertain the idea of running today. No big deal.
Wednesday: 11 miles - 1:22:48. Quonset Bike Path and two Calf Pasture Point loops. Work was much quieter and I had the time to run! My idea was to run CPP since it is similar terrain to the Resolution race. I wanted to do a light workout as well, but not too hard since I'm still getting over head/chest crud and race is on Saturday. After 3 miles on the bike path I did two CPP loops, mixing in 5 x 1 minute on/off. 4 out of the 5 were on the very slow beach (peak high tide) and the last was back on the bike path. The sprints felt taxing but very slow. I'm not sore from it, so that's all I wanted. Long cool down back to my car.
Thursday: 9 miles - 1:09:20. King Preserve and Camp Nokewa single track with about a mile of pavement and dirt roads in between. I ran into Sandals and stopped and chatted for a few minutes. I was hoping the trails would be frozen (only 33 degrees and windy), but they were very wet and muddy - especially the Blue Dot high up on the hill. I did my best to leave no trace, and just plow through the slop. This was a fun out and back. GPS had it at 8.1 miles, but my effort was peppy, and closer to 7:30 feel.
Friday: 5+ miles - 44:06. Black Point trails and Scarborough Beach. We received 3-4" of fluffy snow in the morning (kids had a 1 hr delay) and I needed to see what the race course would be like. Plenty of tracks on the Black Point trails and decent grip. Not many icy spots as I had feared. It was high tide, but the sliver of exposed beach (not snow covered or under water) was flat and firm. I took a few photos to post on Strava:
Fluffy snow in the Black Point parking lot
Creepy selfie on the ocean trail
trail heading toward the ruins
icy in the ruins
large tidal stream that the course usual passes over
Saturday: 10 miles - Resolution Beach & Trail 5K - 5th overall, 19:00. What an incredible day for a race. Big snow storm brewing, and the flakes began falling a few minutes before start time. It was 25 degrees and very windy (out of the north). I ran 4+ miles of warm ups over 3 different runs. I was excited for the normal team battle, as well as the fact that my wife and 2 kids were both racing as well! On top of that, I had convinced a couple of friends to sign up for WTAC and join in the fun.
By the time I had finished my wardrobe change for the race (wind briefs, shorts, short sleeve shirt, singlet, hat, gloves, and xc spikes!), and ran to the start line, it was time to go. The wind driven snow really picked up, and it was clear this race was going to be in epic conditions. Lots of smiles at the line, and then the race began. I wanted to just hang with the lead pack, only if the start was not too fast. Brightman went out hard, and I settled into a chase pack of fellow teammates Muddy and FiveK plus other guys. At the flag turnaround, I was fifth in a strung out train. We now needed to run almost a mile down the beach directly into the wind and stinging snow. It was crazy! By the mile mark, I was passed by Rhode Runner Mike Macedo (who I narrowly beat last year here) and another local runner. I tucked in behind them (didn't help), and then made a move around both just before the slow, snowy beach dune trail. This worked well. The footing wasn't great and I felt slow, but I had created room. I felt like my quick cadence and spikes gave me an advantage. That was until the 1/4 mile road section. I did my best to fight the wind and the clackety clack of my shoes. My margin was slim as I reached the Black Point parking lot. Onto the snow trails, I again just focused on turnover, and using any slight downhill to my advantage. Soon I was safely ahead of Mike again. Up ahead, Muddy made his way around FiveK (3rd and 4th overall) and I wondered if I had a shot to catch FiveK on the trail portion. I knew my shoes had much better grip than his (we warmed up together) and trails aren't his forte. I made up a bit of ground, but he did a great job in these conditions. I reached the ruins, jumped down to the beach, over the tidal stream, and onto the long finishing stretch. In six years, today had the best conditions - firm flat sand and a wicked tailwind. I went into rapid turnover mode. Peeking back, I could see I wasn't going to get caught from behind. FiveK was not to be caught by me however. I finished up in 19:00 flat. Fifth overall for the 2nd year in a row. This time 10 seconds ahead of Mike Macedo (as opposed to 2 seconds last year). I was also 10 seconds behind FiveK. Rhode Runner finished 1,2,6 and WTAC was 3,4,5. Close, but no cigar for the men's team.
After finishing and watching finishers for a few minutes, I remembered I needed to go check on how my kids were doing. Jon Short joined me, and we headed off back into the wind and snow, both sporting some serious ice beards. We made it all the way around Black Point, through the ruins, and back on the beach. I caught up to one friend and their 9 year old daughter, but never up to my family. I was happy to hear they all had finished without incident, and seemed rather proud of their accomplishments in such a crazy weather day. I hung around the boiling water pot for awards, but most people had smartly headed home. The snow was sticking to the roads, and coming down hard. I began shivering uncontrollably, so I had to bail as well. Long ride home, but uneventful. The Galoobs did it again! Another race I will never forget!!
Jackson and Ellie and their friends at the start
Photo by Annie Campbell
ice beard post race and cool down
Photo by Maria MacLellan
end of the race: FiveK with me in the background
Photo by Shara Bousquet
Huddled around the boiling pot of water post race.
Photo by Leslie O'Dell
Me at the starting line.
Photo by Annie Campbell
And the race begins!
Photo by Scott Mason
Sunday: 8 miles - 1:07:01. Local snowshoe run mostly in Burlingame. GPS had me at 5.3, but with about a foot of new powder to blast through, I'm giving myself credit for 8. It's my blog and I can do what I want :). I began by slogging out Shumunkawall Trail on my property. After less than a half mile at 22 min/mile pace, I jumped onto the road and ran along the snow covered edge. I then veered into north Burlingame by the beaver pond - breaking trail again, but at least downhill. Just as I had hoped, the main loop of double track in this management area, had fresh 4x4 truck tracks on it (DEM or just someone out joy riding). I hopped into a wide track and the going was much easier. I stayed in the track for a mile or so, before deciding to again blaze trail - this time the single track portion of the River Trail. This was tough, but I knew I just had to make it to the canoe camps, and the double track up the hill should be tracked by the 4x4. Along the way I spotted a Yellow Bellied Sapsucker which was exciting to me. Unfortunately no 4x4 tracks at the canoe camps - just a lonely fox or coyote track that was not remotely useful. The long climb was a soul crusher, and I had to walk a lot. After forever, I reached the top, and the 4x4 tracked main loop. A couple of minutes later I took a digger on a downhill and shouted loudly. Right around the corner, I spotted two skiing humans on the Ledge Trail who must of heard me. We didn't acknowledge each other. I took the loop back to the beaver pond, and then slowly climbed out to my road using my previous tracks. Despite the cold temperature (high teens and cold wind), I was a sweaty mess. This was also after I spent an hour shoveling, so I was really pooped by the time I came back inside. Hunger ensued. I took a couple of Go Pro videos (thanks for the motivation Seth!) on my Shumunkawall adventure that I might post on the next blog update.
Weekly Total: 50 miles
January to Date: 50 miles
Year to Date: 50 miles