Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Weekly Log 28-Nov-11 to 4-Dec-11

Monday: Rest day. 
My legs thanked me for not running as I could feel it in my calves walking up five flights of stairs.

Tuesday:  11 miles
A beautiful warm morning.  My path out was 4 miles following the Pawcatuck River upstream via Watch Hill Road to Beach Street and eventually Margin and Main until reaching the new ice skating rink downtown that I have yet to try.  While I generally prefer quiet country roads, there is something neat about running downtown in the early morning before the people and traffic congregate. 
Continued out of downtown along High Street to Canal.  Followed much of the now defunct Knights of Columbus 5K route out and back through the North End.  This was usually a brisk November race followed by chowder indoors at the K of C hall.  Stopped at the Y to have a drink at the bubbler - are these still called bubblers, or am I dating myself?
A quick run through Wilcox Park, past the duck pond, gazebo, library, and fountain, before running along Elm Street, and then up the Wells Street hill past the hospital and finish line of another recently defunct race, the Healthy Harvest 5K.  Did this race end because of conflicts with the Misquamicut bi- and triathlons, or because people didn't like the unusual finish going up a steep hill?  Ended the run on the short Mastuxet Brook Greenway trail, part of the Westerly Land Trust.  7:15 pace.

Wednesday:  5 miles
Links Passage/Rockridge loop.  4 quick miles @ 6:32 pace, followed by a cooldown mile.  Balmy 52o at 4:30AM.

Thursday:  3 miles
Three slow, cold miles in Misquamicut on this brisk first day of December.  Tired and dragging this morning; glad the weekend almost here.  Highlight was looking up at the amazing stars in the clear sky.

Friday:  6 miles
Took a vacation day.  Planned to catch up on sleep and then go out for a longer run.  My employer and IT brethren in India had a different idea, and thought my time would be better spent waking me up at 4AM to work on computer production problems for the next few hours on my day off.  Arggh!  I need a job where they pay me to run, organize road races, coach youth running, etc.
Managed a late afternoon run on deserted Atlantic Ave towards Weekapaug, took one of the public shoreline right-of-ways to the ocean.  Ran along the water's edge enjoying the sunset.  Had the entire beach to myself, except two hardy souls out walking with their dog who wanted to join me on my run.

Saturday:  16 miles
Another great long run with Muddy and Jonny.  Much of the run was on dirt roads in North Stonington, CT that I had never run on.  I was told there is just one small hill (or at least that's what I chose to hear), but Muddy's trail description integrity was called into question when this uphill climb dragged on for miles and we crossed above the tree line into a frozen tundra.  What, me, exaggerate?  Seriously, it was what I as a flat-lander would describe as hilly, but I need that and really enjoyed the run.

Sunday:  10 miles
Erica Canalway Trail
Morning:  Utica, NY, home of the famed Utica Boilermaker 15-K, where over 10,000 runners toe the line each summer.    Was at a family party the night before, and needed to run off the excesses of good food and drink.  Found "Utica Roadrunners" running club online, and was excited to see they have "Sunday morning breakfast runs" each Sunday at a different member's house and welcome out-of-towners, until I found they start at a rather late hour of 9AM.  Back on the Internet, I found the Erie Canalway Trail, a 13 mile section of paved and crushed stone pathway where the eventual goal is to have a contiguous pathway along the Mohawk River/Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany (300+ miles).  The start of this section of trail was only about 1/10 of a mile from my hotel, so it was perfect for me.  I went out at sunrise and had the trail to myself.  It started out in a busy area from a marina, but quickly went past marshes and fields.  At one point, the trail crossed over an old canal lock and at another over an old train track.  There was ice on the sides of the trail in places, but I felt comfortable running in shorts so I guess the temperature was somewhere near freezing.  Stopped once to climb a small lookout tower overlooking a marsh with much fowl in the water.  Wished I had more time, but six miles was what I could fit in.
Afternoon:  Back in RI, I ran four miles at dusk with my son on a combination of roads and trails.  He sprinted past me in the last section home, and my tired legs didn't want to go any faster.  I hope he has that level of energy for next weekend's Christmas 10-K.

Weekly mileage total:  51 miles
Another 50+ mile week, back to back!  Really happy with the miles and how I feel.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Weekly Log 21-Nov-11 to 27-Nov-11

Monday:  Rest day

Tuesday:  5 miles
A planned early morning long run was thwarted by a 4AM call from work.  Arrgh!  Got in an easy 7:30 pace 5-mile loop at dusk, out to Links Passage/Rockridge, and back.  Turned on to my road, and 3 deer galloped across the road in front of me.  How do I get their speed?

Wednesday:  6 miles
38o, pouring rain, and wind.  Delightful stuff.  Stepped into a big puddle in Misquamicut that I didn't see in the dark.  That's enough "fun" for today.

Thursday: 5 miles
Thanksgiving Day.  Much better weather - sunny but cool.  In the spirit of spending the holiday with family, I went for a 5-mile run with my 12-year old son.  His choice on the course.  We took a few back roads in Misquamicut before heading east onto Shore Road and 1.3 miles on trails in Champlin Park.  Good run for T-day dinner.

Friday:  16 miles
Continuing the newly established weekend long runs with Muddy and Jonny, today was my turn to choose a course.  It was cold at the sunrise start at 31o, but the sun came out and warmed up to 44o
by the end.  As it's mostly flat and roads here in Misquamicut, I tried to throw in a mix of terrain for my running partners with adding some trails, beach, and hills.  Ran out Shore Road to Moonlight Drive and back along Wildflower and Links Passage before entering the trails in Champlin Park.  Chose the longest trail in the park at 1.3 miles; there's a good mix of hills and stone walls along this trail.  Paused at Charlie's Overlook for the breaktaking view over Misquamicut beaches, the Atlantic Ocean, and Block Island:
Continued on through Misquamicut, onto the beach off Ocean View Highway, and ran in the sand up to East Beach in Watch Hill.  Saw a few people walking the beach here.  Ran through Watch Hill village and wound back through Avondale before finishing on Chin Hill.  I felt great through the run, with a little soreness onset only running the final uphill.  The miles flew by today with having runner partners; hopefully this will also keep me in good shape throughout the winter.  (2:04:08)
Added a new blog page on PRs.  It was a fun exercise and some of them surprised me.

Saturday:   11 miles
Ran into and through Weekapaug.  Hadn't run there in a while due to the breachway bridge still closed.  Ran along Fenway beach and then Spray Rock Road, before coming back on Noyes Neck, up to Dunn's Corners and back.  Finished on "white trail" in Champlin Park.  Legs a little stiff from Friday's long run, but a beautiful warm day to get out.

Sunday:  7 miles
Easier runs today.  4 miles solo along Mastuxet Brook, followed later by a 3 mile run on local roads with my son.  Another beautiful running day with temps close to 60o.

Week mileage total:  50 miles!
This is my highest mileage tally in quite some time, no doubt attributable to the unseasonably warm weather and 4-day long weekend for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Weekly Log 14-Nov-11 to 20-Nov-11

Monday:  Planned day off

Tuesday:  11 miles
A balmy 56 degree start at 6AM; is this really mid-November?  No complaints.  My run started in Misquamicut with the sun rising over the ocean.  Ran from Misquamicut towards Watch Hill on Ocean View Highway.  Heard the waves crashing the whole way, which enticed me to cut onto the beach at the end of Ocean View Highway, then ran along the water's edge past the majestic Ocean House and up to East Beach, where I got back on the roads.  Ran past the 2nd oldest carousel in the USA, which brought back childhood memories of my grandmother bringing my brother and me there, which was way back when ... let's just say it was a long time ago (no, contrary to my kids' assertion, dinosaurs did not roam the earth then).
Leaving Watch Hill, ran up to and through Avondale, many swans in the cove.  My right knee was starting to bother me through here.  Odd, hopefully just a momentary thing.  Continued NE along the river away from Avondale, and finished with a spirited run up Chin Hill.  7:24 pace overall; good run.

Wednesday:  4 miles
4:30AM run in the rain and darkness in November.  Why is it that I didn't see any other runners or walkers out on the roads this morning?!  Oh well, rain is supposed to clear out over the next 2 days, in plenty of time for Sunday's Li'l Rhody.  Word is by race start (11AM), there's a good chance the darkness will be gone as well.  All is good.

Thursday:  0
Spent the pre-dawn hours compiling Li'l Rhody registrations; followed by a long day of work, thus no running today.

Friday:  0
No excuses today.  Alarm went off at 4:30, I looked over at my running clothes waiting for me, and went back to sleep.  What a slacker!

Saturday:  7 miles
Cranston, RI.  What do you do when you're away from home, it's a beautiful sunny 50 degree day, and you have downtime waiting for your son's swim meet to start?  You go running of course!  The Cranston YMCA front desk staff gave me directions to the Cranston Bike Path.  A couple of busy city streets led me to the bike path, which was a welcome change.  Got off the bike path and ran through the cemetery where my father is buried.  Stopped at his grave to pay respects to him, my grandparents, and other ancestors.  So much I want to tell him.
The run continues.  Back onto the bike path up to the end near the Providence line, then turned back around.  Enjoyed the relative solitude.  The bike path is much less used and not in quite the shape compared to South County Bike Path, but still nice.  Finished up (49 min) in time to see my son set a PR in the 50-free.  Life is good!  Li'l Rhody tomorrow.

Sunday:  10 miles total
Li'l Rhody Runaround Trail Race:  Results link

61 degrees - warmest day I can recall for this race.  Took 1st place in my division (out of 46 runners) with a time of 53:22.  11th overall out of 296.  Running partners Justin and Jonny just ahead of me in 8th and 9th, respectively.  Jonny and I passed each other 4 times on the course, with him settling ahead for good passing me at mile 5.  That is where I ran out of stamina - at the top of the long hill after water stop and Buckeye Brook Road.  From there on in, the pace was lower and it was all I could do just to hold my position.  Sometimes in past coming out onto Kings Factory Road I've had the energy to at least try to chase down other runners.  This time was not one of those days.  No complaints, though.  Finished just ahead of Clay Howland, a guy with Westerly ties that I've "battled" in the past, and also a few places ahead of another trail runner that is often ahead of me.  Great day for a run!  I've earned up my upcoming Turkey day feast.

Week total:  32 miles

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Log 7-Nov-11 to 13-Nov-11

Here is my first attempt at a running blog, based on encouragement from running friends Jonny and Muddy.

Sunday:  9 miles total
Morning:  Charlestown Police 5K at Ninigret Park.  18:33, good for 2nd place in my division.  As usual, my first mile was the fastest, and second mile the slowest, with splits of 5:50, 6:05, and 6:03.  Thought I would catch Jonny going into the 3rd mile on bike track, but he surged and the wind slowed me down (I need some excuse, right?).  Happy to finish the last 5K of the year with a sub-6 overall pace.  Kudos to Muddy and Jonny on their PRs today.
Afternoon:  5+ miles.  Most on roads in Winnapaug, and then ducked in out of wind to run in Champlin Glacier Park.  Steady 7:15 pace on roads; much slower on trails.  Rest day tomorrow.

Will start a weekly mileage tally next week.