Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekly Log 12-Dec-11 to 18-Dec-11

Monday:  rest day

Tuesday:  6 miles
Local roads at dusk.  Great to run past so many lit up Christmas displays.

Wednesday:  3 miles
4AM.  Exhausted.  Not into it this morning.

Thursday:  0

Friday:  13 miles
Another stressful work week comes to an end!  The antidote:  running along the ocean.  Checked the wind direction going out, as the wind was strong (25 mph) and can make for a tough headwind.  Ran onto the beach at Misquamicut, and then 4 miles on the beach east to Weekapaug.  Did not see a soul.  Climbed up on the rocks at the breachway, and stopped to take in the majesty of the ocean, with views of Block Island and Fishers Island, NY.  Hope I'm always so lucky to live within short running distance of the ocean, and hope I never take it for granted.  Crossed the bridge (the Weekapaug bridge is OPEN after a 3 month closure!!) and ran along the shore roads in Weekapaug, before leaving via Noyes Neck Road.  Made up my own route going back, as I ran Matarese Hill, South Hill, a short section of Route 1 and then back roads until ending on trails in Champlin Glacier Park.

Saturday:  9 miles
Weekly long run with Muddy and Jonny.  Jonny's choice.  Chilly 31o start.  Ran quiet roads from Burlingame including Kings Factory, Buckeye Brook, and Klondike, before finishing on trails.  Good run, conversation, and company in our pre-run before our first WTAC team run tomorrow at Old Mountain Field 5K Trail Run.

Sunday:  7 miles
Old Mountain 5K Trail Race.  Writing this one day after the event, I am still on Cloud 9!  I had a really good run (more below), but am ecstatic over the debut entry and overall win for the new Team WTAC!  Several of us had been talking about team entries for a while, talked it up, and e-mailed around, and this was the first race that we officially entered as a WTAC team.
Race details:  a FRIGID 25o start awaited us, which is always cold for standing around waiting to run a race in shorts, but especially so when we have yet to acclimate given so many days in the 50s over past few weeks.  I really had no idea what to expect in this race.  When the gun went off, Jonny rocketed out in a feverish sprint to hold the lead to gain a front position when leaving the open ground to go into singletrack.  I'm not sure how much energy this sapped from him, but I understand the strategy so as not to get stuck behind slower runners on the trail.  I followed behind him, but not as close.  I tried to count, and estimate I was 12th going into the singletrack in the woods. 
At about 1/2 mile in, I caught up just behind Jonny in an uphill stretch that seemed like a death march with runners really bottlenecking.  Jonny passed uphill!  I caught up just behind him on the next downhill stretch, and over the next half-mile followed right behind him as he passed 2-3 other runners, often running in the scrub brush on the sides of the trail.  Somewhere after the first mile, the pack stretched out, the trail straightened out, and feeling the energy I had, I passed Jonny and kept going.  I never looked back, but kept expecting him to pass me again.  Following two runners in front of me, I forded a small river that was too broad to leap entirely and landed in deep mud and felt the frigid river water pouring into my running shoes.  On the other bank of the river sheer briars chest-high awaited me.  Seeing no alternative, I tore through them, or I should say, they tore through me!  After the race I was told there was a way just to the right to avoid the river and briars.
The rest of the race led us through fields with tall grass, then on mowed grass around athletic fields, and trails in the woods including crossing rocks and steep drops down stone steps.  For a guy whose only trail race ever had been Li'l Rhody, this was like extreme trail racing to me (and extreme fun!), albeit the river fording and briar patches could have been somewhat avoided.  I reached a muddy trail intersection, where you needed to turn sharply (more than 90-degrees).  I slid through the turn, and my feet came right out from under me and I went down.  This would've been a great slide to a finish line, except that I still had 1/2 mile to go.    

Blood and mud at trail race
There was a runner (Glen) right on my back and I glimpsed Muddy not far behind him.  Glen passed me on my final sprint to the finish, and Muddy finished just 3 seconds after me.  I was shocked to learn that I was 4th overall!  Muddy was 5th and Jonathan 7th; full results at link above.  Other WTAC runners John, Elise, and Carol Ann all had a good run.

I figure I lost time in 3 places:  bottleneck uphill climb, stream and briar patch crossing, and mud slide.  No matter.  WTAC team took 1st place!  The 3 of us guys each got a 6-pack, and then I got a subscription to Trail Runner for winning my age group, as did Muddy.  The Race Director also announced jokingly that I won the award for "Most Blood" (see photo at left), but I declined to take a 3rd prize at risk of being "piggy".  I caught a pair of gloves tossed out as prizes, but again felt gluttonous with my winning and gave them to a young girl who also tried to catch them.  Just a fantastic day for the team all around!  Can't wait to see the team standings posted, and look forward to the next trail series run.  Who knows; maybe I'll be trail runner convert someday. :)

Weekly mileage total:  38 miles


  1. Hell yeah!!! Sounds like my kind of run on Friday!!! :)

  2. Jeff really awesome job on the trails today. Thanks for leading the way for WTAC's team win!