Monday, February 20, 2012

Weekly Log 20-Feb-12 to 26-Feb-12

I can really relate to this cartoon from yesterday's paper, especially with a few tweaks, as perhaps some of my guy running friends can as well?  After you read it, you'll understand some of the reason I like to go for runs at 6 or 7AM, before anyone else in the house gets up; otherwise my run may not happen.
Monday:  13 miles
Fun but taxing Presidents' Day run with Tom.  Thankful to George and Abe for having the day off, but man, what a workout!  Tom had a ladder workout planned after 15 minutes of warm-up; glad we "eased" into that warm-up with two miles at a "slow" 6:50 pace!  The ladder was 5 minutes running at 5K pace, 1/2 the amount (2:30) recovery, resume 4 minutes at 5K pace, 2 recovery, you get the picture, taking 1 minute off the hard run part each iteration until you're down to 1 minute, then finishing with a 30-second hard run.  Did most of this on Tom Harvey, Links Passage, and backroads to Moonlight and Shore, finishing just before Noyes Neck.  I should have set my GPS watch to record the pace, but looking back at mile splits now, I see one of the miles covering the 5-minute hard run plus part of recovery was at 6:06 pace, I'm guessing I ran sub-6.  After a quick breather, we ran down into and through Weekapaug along the water before returning back to Shore Road and into Champlin Glacier Park for a mostly uphill 1 mile trail trek.  By that time, my legs were trashed and I was hungry as Muddy (is that possible?).  The donut factory smell wafting off Tom Harvey did us in, and Tom altered his breakfast plans to pick up donuts on the way home - I think he's still there.  Somehow amazingly the final mile split back on roads was 6:49 - it must have been the need to get to breakfast ASAP.  Total time 1:28.

Tuesday: 0
Rest day.  My legs and shins thanked me.

Wednesday:  6 miles
Morning:  Cross trained with swimming.  Met my goal, which was not to drown.  Swam 500 yards and was happy I was able to do that comfortably.  Then swam some faster (or less slow) 50s before cooldown.
Afternoon:  Ran 6 incorporating 1 mile on beach west of Misquamicut, plus most of fun run.  6 should be easy, but just had no energy left.
Evening:  Registered for a bunch of races to beat the March 1 price increase (see my "2012 Events" page).  Figure between myself and kids, I saved about $75.

Thursday:  0
Any chance for a run today was thwarted by a 4AM call from my "friends" in India who somehow thought I'd rather spend the next few hours with them.

Friday:  5 miles
SNOW!  Slept in late until 7 on a day off, and was surprised to see snow.  12"!  (OK, I missed the decimal point; it's really 1.2")  Finally! - perhaps my only chance to try out my Yax-Trax that are still sitting in the box as we've had no snow.  Tried them out first on wooded trails in my backyard.  Not invincible, but seemed to offer quite a bit of grip.  Turns out someone else (see photo at right) has already been running on my trails this morning.
1st use of new Yak-Trax
Next on to the roads.  Unfortunately, unlike the dirt trails that can absorb some water, the water on roads has nowhere to go and it's pure slush.  I didn't get 1/2 mile when my feet are completely soaked, and my legs all red from the splashing slush.  Dumb idea; turn around before a neighbor looks out a window and reports me to a psych ward.  Fortunately, the adventure portion of my brain wins out over the sanity portion, and I trek on to Champlin Park.  I run my usual favorite trail, not at "full gazelle mode", but at least 2/3 gazelle mode, still jumping some rocks, logs, etc.  Finish the trail and decide to run one more trail before quitting.  By the time I get back home, the plows are out now and the frozen mix has turned into a steady rain and my feet have gone numb. 
Final experiment:  were the Yak-Trax just a placebo?  Take them off, and run the same trail in my back yard.  I don't fall, but slip all over the place on a steep downhill section, and can't even run uphill; I need to slowly walk it.  Verdict:  Keep the Yak-Trax, worth the purchase at least for some year when we really get snow.

Saturday:  15 miles
Early morning trail run in Burlingame with Jonny, Mike, and Aaron.  Trails were wet, but not nearly as bad as I had expected and nothing like yesterday's slush fest.  Ran some of the trails that Li'l Rhody is on and final part of Brrr-lingame course; most other trails I didn't recognize but were a fun diversion.  I continue to be amazed with the sheer size of the park, and went online afterwards to orient myself with where we were at one point on presumably the western boundary of the park along Pawcatuck River.
Got back to my car to find 3 missed calls and multiple pages from work, and had to spend the next 4 hours on phone and computer.  Arrgh.  Thankfully I got my run in first, or I would have been miserable all day.

Sunday:  0 miles
Family recreation and fun day.  The four of us hiked all through the Westerly Town Forest.  Trails had dried out from Friday's slush and were in good shape.
Followed the hike with a swim at the Y.  Was thrilled my 12-year old wanted to swim a few laps with the old man.  We split a lane, and he made minced meat out of me passing me with his freestyle, breast stroke, flip turns, etc.  So graceful; I have much to learn.  So surprised to see WTAC member and WHS running star Riyan in the adjacent lane.  We talked about, take a wild guess here ... that's right, running.  He said he swims only as cross-training for running, and I tried to talk him into running the Clamdigger again, which he said he hopes to but need to get permission from his coach.   Finished up with playing around and "tag" in the warmer and smaller Buckley pool. 
Seems funny to put a "zero" down for today when I got lots of exercise.  Maybe I should follow Mike's lead in adding other activity counters in this blog? 

Weekly total:  39 miles
Wasn't the plan to take three days off from running this week, but somehow still managed to hit my desired average of about 40 weekly miles.
Coming to the end of February, we're roughly 1/6 of the way into the year, which puts me right on target for my 2,000 2012 mileage goal at 333 miles run YTD.

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