Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Long Weekends: 2-20-17 to 2-26-17

Monday: 7 miles in 1:00:09.  Snowshoe run in Westbrook Maine on snowmobile groomed trails.  This was great.  The morning after skiing, I was feeling pretty good and excited to run.  My friends suggested a place to start (Community Ctr), and I began heading north on the power lines.  Right away I had the biggest climb of the day and it was tough.  The snow was good to run on, but because of yesterday's warmth and this morning's near freezing temperature, it was a bit frozen and uneven in spots.  No worries.  After dropping down the other side, the terrain was less hilly and I got into a decent groove.  At 2 miles I stopped at an intersection that had a kiosk with map.  There were 2 fatbike riders there as well who were very friendly and told me how hardcore I was.  Haha, maybe that's why I liked them.  I decided to go west on a very wide power line, cross a road, then continue west on the same powerline until it hit the Mountain Division Rail Trail.  The sun in the wide power line felt delicious, and this was a great way to (hopefully) finish winter running.  After a mile heading south on the rail trail, I found my exit to the east bringing me back out to the road, across it, and into a groomed golf course.  I hoped it connected to the original power line so I could get back to my car.  After a few nervous moments, I could see the connection I needed.  Instead of following my tracks back, I opted to veer into the woods and follow a trail that should get me back near my car.  This was great.  Deep woods, groomed, and rolling.  I popped out just above my car.  Great stuff.

Tuesday: 20 mile double.  AM - 17 miles in 2:15:29.  North Stonington MLR turned LR with Muddy.  Vacation day!  Convinced Muddy to join me for an easy longish run.  I revised my plan to include less hills, but it included some new terrain for both of us.  A great sunny cool morning.  We parked at the NoSto basketball courts (where my brothers and I would play in the summer after a greasy day working down the road at McDonald's).  We headed south down Rocky Hollow Rd, west on 184, then north on Jeremy Hill Rd (with a sneaky picturesque open summit).  We then traveled east to and across Rte 2.  We now ran through the village center, somewhere I had never been.  Cool old houses and buildings.  We then made our way north on Wyassup Rd.  We veered NE on Chester Main Rd, which was a very big hill past the winery.  Our deep conversation made this hill pass without much notice.  As we approached Hangman Hill Rd, I had the idea of mixing up the run.  We decided to head north and jump into the Tefftweald Preserve.  I had noticed it the previous night looking for places to run in town.  There was still a couple of inches of wet snow on the trails, but we had so much fun exploring this interesting place.  A great place to go back and take the family hiking.  We then took the shortest way back to the car via roads.  This included backtracking on Hangman Hill and up and over Chester Main, back into the village.  Ended up going longer than planned, but such a good run.

PM - 3 miles in 56:03.  Family hike on the Cliff Walk in Newport.

Wednesday: 7.5 miles in 1:01:43.  King Preserve trails with Nate.  Fun recovery run from the parking lot on 1A.  It was muddy, but not as bad as I feared.  Good conversation as we wandered around.

Thursday: 11.5 miles in 1:20:14.  Saunderstown roads with hills plus strides at the end.  I pushed the hill climbs (Cottrell, 2xGSR, Plum Beach) hard enough to call this a workout.  6 x 30 seconds on/off at the end along 1A.  Mapped out as 1,200' elevation gain.

Friday:  2 miles in 30 minutes.  Vacation Day!  Home with the kids on a very warm and sunny day.  Did outside chores then spent a lot of time just reading in the sunshine.  I fell asleep in the afternoon when my wife came home rather than run.  Later, she and I briskly walked around downtown Westerly while the kids had karate class.  Dinner at the Pizza Place followed.

Saturday: 17 miles in 2:07:55.  Long trail run/workout in Burlingame solo.  I was motivated to run in the morning and got out the door on another mild day.  I kept my running easy as I made my way around the north side of the park.  I then approached the north camp trail on Buckeye Brook Rd.  Earlier in the week, Jeff had measured out a potential new point to point course for this year's Back Road Ramble.  It began at the top of the camp double track, headed south to the pond, back up the single track on the other side, all the way up to Sammy C's.  It followed Sammy C's all the way back down to Vin Gormley, before exiting the trails on King's Factory Rd.  I'm really excited about racing this.  So after 42 minutes of easy trail running, I ran this course rather hard.  It was fun and challenging.  The rocks were wet on Sammy C's which made me cautious, but I still managed to run 19:19 (new CR) for this segment.  The entire tempo took me 35:39.  I felt good about my overall effort and this also seemed like a good workout for the upcoming Ryan Park 10K.  I caught my breath and then headed back into the woods via VG.  I then did Lenny's Lane, back to VG, and then across the street to the hilly north side.  It ended up being over a 50 minute "cool down".  Good stuff.  Opened up the outdoor shower after.

Sunday: 12 mile double.  In the AM, I decided to head to Woody Hill and explore the trails there on my own.  I've only been in there with a guide.  I parked at the field and ran up the hill.  I then took lefts and backtracked when necessary.  Some of the terrain is really fun.  Hills and rocks.  I eventually made it to the top of the pond, but the beaver dam looked too treacherous to cross on this day.  I then made my way to Hansel and Gretel Trail, and then explored the upper field.  I didn't realize there was a fun, well-marked trail on the other side.  My pace quickened as I ran down this hill.  It popped out right at the field.  I tacked on one more hill climb, and ran the road down the hill back to my car.  10 miles in 1:23:52.  In the PM, my son, mother-in-law, and I hiked in Arcadia.  We were going to do Ben Utter Trail, but the dirt road was closed.  We opted to park at Frosty Hollow Pond and follow the Shelter Trail up to Breakheart Pond.  Such a cool trail.  We made a loop by taking John B Hudson Trail back.  2 miles in 35 minutes.

Weekly Total: 77 miles
Last Week: 52 miles
February to Date: 242 miles
Year to Date: 524 miles


  1. What's this Back Road Ramble of which you speak? :)

    1. Race put on by local YMCA Camp (right next to Lil Rhody parking lot). State doesn't want race through the campground in season anymore, so Jeff Walker is helping them come up with a different course. Since the Y has buses, a point to point race is being proposed. The long race will be about 6 miles - 80% on trails (including my favorite technical trail in the park). Post race family cookout at the camp with all amenities open to the public (swimming, kayaks, water trampoline!). Great race to bring kids along! Date to be approved by state, usually in early June.

  2. Oh! Sounds fun! If it fits into my schedule, I might do it!