Away on business in NH. Soaked my sore legs in the hotel whirlpool; tried to cover my open knee wounds to avoid scaring people off.
Tuesday: 9 miles
Nashua/Merrimack, NH. Awesome adventure. One of the things I love about waking up in a different location is trying out a new running route. Got up at daybreak (19o), and as I often do, asked the hotel front-desk clerk for running suggestions. Sometimes they're very helpful with routes; this time the conversation went something like this:Jeff: Do you have any quiet roads around here you would suggest for running?
Jeff: Yes (thinking to myself, do they have roads inside the hotel here?)
Clerk: We really don't suggest you run outside.
Jeff: Why not? Was there a nuclear explosion?
Clerk: No. The roads here are very unsafe. We suggest you use the treadmill in the hotel gym.
End of conversation. Reminded me of the definition of treadmill in Feb edition of Runner's World: "Treadmill (n.): A torture device perfected in the 20th century, designed to destroy one's mind through sensory deprivation and monotony." -p. 19
Outside I go. I didn't have a lot of time, but remember a paved path by the busy road the hotel is on; maybe I can cobble together 4 miles or so. I follow the path for about a mile and it leads off the busy road and ends at a neighborhood. Time to turn around?
No, the path continues across the street through the pines. It goes for another mile past more neighborhoods and through forested areas. It crosses a bridge over a frozen river or pond. A sign says welcome to the town of Merrimack, and the path ends. Time to turn around now? This would make 4 miles.
No, let's try the road to the right as it has a "dead end" sign. The road is deserted. There seem to be dirt trails off the road, but they all have strict signs "No trespassing - violators will be prosecuted - Pennachuck Water Works". The road comes to an end. I can see a gate ahead with more "No Trespassing" signs.
I get up to the gate. Smaller print shows "Property of Fidelity Investments - Merrimack, NH". Really?! Now I'll take my chances. If I get stopped; I'll give them my Fidelity badge number. I run along a gravel road that has turned to ice. To the right, there's a clearing with a trail. Let's take it. I soon see marked signs for different trails, and decide on the "Ledge Loop Trail". There are different hiking signs; I figure I left Fidelity property and am in some nature conservancy until I get to the top of the hill and see another Fidelity sign. How cool is this? This should be on our HR intranet site as one of our benefits. The trail turns from hardpack dirt to a long section of hardpack snow and then I hit another trail intersection. Turn back? You know the answer. Followed the North East Path to then the North East Trail Loop, and kept bounding on, up and down hills, until I reached the familiar Fidelity buildings. Now I finally turned back, as I was out of time and hungry. Amazingly traced my steps back through the trails, dead end road, and back to Nashua and my hotel where the breakfast buffet awaited me. 4 miles of bike path, 1.5 mile of deserted road, and 3.5 miles of trails. Never crossed a busy street. Felt bad for the souls on the treadmill.
Wednesday: 7 miles
Back in Westerly. Legs are sore. Headed to the beach for some soft surface running. 3 miles on Misquamicut Beach; balance on roads.
Between a long day commuting back and forth to work in NH again, and sore legs, took a zero.
Friday: 4 miles
Quick run at dusk. Ran into Champlin Glacier Park just as it was getting dark, was pitch black by the time I finished. I had no trouble staying with the trail, as I'm quite familiar with it, but the problem was multiple mis-steps (no falls) due to not being able to see the rocks and roots.
Saturday: 15 miles
Early morning run with Muddy and Tom, mostly on trails. Ran from Bradford School through Woody Hill Management Area, an 819 acre state property off 216, exploring all the way. Ended up in a new housing development called Haversham Preserve, which turns out to be off South Woody Hill Road. Wound our way through multiple trails, crossing a small dam and running through Copar Quarry, which with its massive piles of sand resembled the Giza Pyramids of Egypt.
Exited Copar Quarry back on to 216, and then ran through Bradford down to the Grills Preserve, another fantastic Westerly Land Trust property. I continue to be amazed by the all land trust properties, and had not been on this one in several years. When I retire someday (more than a decade away), I will want to keep myself busy - maybe volunteering for the land trust could be it. Ran to a place at the Pawcatuck River where the "Polly Coon" bridge used to be (left), and then ran up the appropriately if not creatively named "Big Hill", where we had an awesome view overlooking Chapman Pond and swamp towards downtown. Retraced our steps back to Bradford School. Another awesome group run.
Sunday: 5 miles
Mid afternoon run, split between roads and loops within Champlin. Legs felt a little sore after, but actually felt much better later after swimming a few hundred yards at the Y and then splashing around in the smaller pool with my boys.
Weekly total: 40 miles
Good to see mileage back to the 40 range. Shin splints still there, but manageable. I'm enjoying taking two weeks off from racing and getting back to weekend long runs.