Monday: 3.5 miles in 30:39. Mount Tom trails in Arcadia after work. I had to stop by my mother-in-law's house on my way home, so after putting off a run all day, I opted to sneak one in near her house. Sunset on the Mount Tom ledges seemed lovely. I had more spring in my step than anticipated and enjoyed running up the ledges, across 165 and then did a loop around the old "Broken Rib" mtn bike trail. I then had to return via the ledges as the light was really fading. My watch had 513' of climbing so probably a couple hundred more in actuality, Suunto would give it 950'.
Tuesday: 8.5 miles in 1:07:52. Carolina hills after work. Another day of no motivation until the last minute. Drizzly and dark when I began at 4:23PM and pitch black when I finished (no headlamp) at 5:30PM. I drove the dirt road north on Pine Hill Rd to the end (impatiently driving through potholes). I then ran north then west up and over a hill to get to the trout pond parking lot. I ran north to Kenyon Hill Rd (half dirt, half paved). This is a good hill from both directions. I summitted 4 times, twice in each direction. These felt good as I seemed to be recovered from the long run, and I wasn't pushing too hard. I debated the merit of returning back to my car through the woods the way I came, but just went for it. I managed to stay upright on the long down hill at the end. Strided it out on the flat dirt road just for good measure. Well over 1000' of climbing.
Wednesday: 15 miles in 2:00:21. Hilly roads and trails in West Greenwich. Quiet at work and I had extra time to run. Spent too long trying to figure out where/what to run. Big slow hills won out over tempo/interval work. It's that kind of week. I parked at the Wickaboxet SP lot and ran down and then up Plain Meeting House Rd (biggest climb in RI I think). Instead of summitting, I took a right on Stubble Brook Rd, which climbed anyway and then was a roller coaster the rest of the way. This was a nice road, out in the middle of nowhere near the URI Alton Jones campus. I reached Rte 102 and had a short stretch uphill to the Fry Pond Conservation Area - a WG Land Trust holding. I had run in here once before (and also hiked with my family) and remembered how rugged this small trail system was. Well, it was even tougher than I remembered, and my legs were fried from all the hills this week. I stumbled a couple of times, falling once, but it is a beautiful place and worth the effort to visit.
Hillside trail is no joke. Great views of cedar swamp and pond from loop.
After 30 minutes, it was back on the roads the way I came. Once I reached Plain Meeting House Rd, I head right up the final 150' of the hill climb and then went back into the woods via Welch Hollow Rd (an unimproved dirt road that is currently a humungous mess). So it was really warm (mid 50's), and the ground was thawing bigly. I couldn't wait to get into Wickaboxet and onto firmer singletrack. I was tiring, and a little worried about the climb back out to the roads (via the WGLT Pratt Conservation Area ).
Pratt Trail map
This is a very steep hill, but I kept my pace to grind mode and made it through. By now I was weak, wobbly, and hungry. However, I wanted to get to 2 hours. This meant a detour back up Plain Meeting House Rd to the summit, and then all the way back down (and then up) to my car. Tough run. 1442' of climbing on my watch, which is not easy to do!
Thursday: 5 miles in 42:05. Snow run from my house around north Burlingame. No school or work because of the storm. It rained for a while, then sleet, then finally snow around 10am. The ground and road were coated with snow when I decided to go do a short run before the weather got really nasty. I put on my Inov8's and got out the door quickly. I wish I had Yaktrax! My 2 pairs from last year got thrown out over the summer when I realized they were all broken. I was getting by without them this winter, but man they would have been perfect on this run. Snow over wet trails = a lot of slipping and very tiring on tired legs to begin with. The wind was terrible on the road, which led to stinging sideways snow. The woods were magnificent however (minus the slipping). I wished that I didn't tell my wife I'd only be gone 30 minutes, because I could have spent way more time wandering around the trails. Oh well. I stretched my run a bit, and the headwind on the final 1/3 mile to my house gave me an ice cream headache. Back inside for the duration of the storm.
Friday: 9 miles in 1:19:25. Snowshoe run/slog in Ryan Park with Galoob. Surprisingly, we were the first to lay tracks on the rail bed. We took turns leading and doing the grunt work. After a loop around the pond, we decided to turn around and take advantage of the snow packing we just did. It still wasn't ideal, but a little easier. We then opted to head back down the rail bed and back. Tough work and tiring. Talked to a couple from Vermont who just finished up their xc ski. They also run trails and were excited to hear about the upcoming Belleville Pond 10K here in a few weeks.
Saturday: 0. My run (snowshoe) had to be early or late. I wasn't motivated for either. Errands with the kids in the morning and then we went to Hope Valley School to sled in the afternoon. I didn't sled, but got a workout shoving my kids at takeoff. It was getting really warm, but their tubes still gave them good rides. Annoyed at night that I didn't make the effort to do a short run, but whatever.
Sunday: 21 miles in 2:29:34. Solo long run on roads in the morning from my house. So not motivated to do a long run, especially alone. I don't really have a long race coming up, so there really isn't any urgency. I just like doing them, more so when I can mix in trails. Another storm was brewing and I thought I would get caught in rain or snow while out on my run. I mostly stuck to a route I came up with the night before, heading down Burdickville Rd, 91-216 to Tomaquag Rd. West on Woodville to Hopkinton City. I was feeling sluggish the first 3 or 4 miles and not mentally tough. The roads were in decent shape - some icy spots from melting the day before, until Tomaquag Rd. Lots of ice and snow and the going got harder. There was also a strong north wind in my face making me cold. I pressed on and felt better by the time I was nearing Hopkinton City. I then made up the rest of the route as I went. South on Rte 3 to Wellstown Rd. 216 up to Cemetery Lane and then up Maxson Hill. I pushed this hill a bit, wanting to put up a decent effort on Muddy's home turf. At the top, I accidentally swallowed my gum, which mometarily brought on panic as it felt like I was choking at maximum heart rate. I relaxed and continued down Diamond Hill, finally peaking at my watch (13.8 miles). 19 would get me to 60 miles for the week - a nice arbitrary goal, so I opted for a longer way home. I ran down 216, through Bradford, and onto Buckeye Brook Rd. It began snowing at this point and was hard enough to begin collecting on the road. I was wearing my favorite trail shoes ever (Asics FujiLytes) and gription was not an issue. My thighs and lower core were tired and in pain. Climbing still felt good, but downhills were torture. I perked up the last mile, excited about throwing down 21 miles on roads all by myself. Decent average pace of 7:07, and GPS gave me exactly 1000' of elevation gain. No fuel, and didn't need it. Feeling strong although not sure about my speed. The snow continued most of the afternoon before turning to rain. This was a strange week of running, but I'll take it.
Week to Date: 62 miles
Last Week: 61 miles
February to Date: 113 miles
Year to Date: 395 miles