Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Weekly Log 16-Apr-12 to 22-Apr-12

Monday:  0 miles
Race winner:  2:12:40
at mile 25

Fastest American runner:
4th place
Took a break from work to go see the finish of the Boston Marathon.  Upper 80s; glad I was watching it instead of running it.  Slowest winning time in 5 years.  More than 4,300 runners took advantage of an option to drop out and defer to next year.  More than 100 runners went to the hospital with heat ailments.
Reminded me of running 2004 when it was 86F and full sun at the start, back when it was a 12Noon start.  Vowed I would never run it in that heat again. I have a qualifying time for next year by 13 minutes.  Registration opens Sep 10; we'll see ...

Tuesday:  zilch
Closest I got to running was picking up new "Marathon" book by Hal Higdon.  When I went to pay, the clerk at our local bookstore said he was reading it as well as he's preparing to run his first marathon in Providence next month.  Small world ...

Wednesday:  23 miles
Wednesday's run:  hilly and long
Tri-town challenging (at least for me) run.  Shore Road in Westerly out to Route 1.  Continued flat crossing into Charlestown near Shelter Harbor. 
Hill climb #1:  Turned left (north) onto 216, also known as Ross Hill Road.  Long climbing hill up from Route 1.
Hill climb #2:  Right onto Buckeye Brook Road.  These hills are killer, and just keep climbing fairly steep ascents.

Got a respite running past entry and exit points on Li'l Rhody course.  In fact, there are all sorts of neat trail junctures around here beckoning to me (funny how I never paid attention prior to trail running), but today is a road day.  Onward.
Hill climb #3:  On the eastern portion of Buckeye now.  The hills pick up with the same intensity as the earlier climbs.  It seems around every corner the climb just continues.  Mercifully the road is coming to an end as I sight the cemetery on right and stop sign dead ahead.  Having traversed the entire length of Buckeye, I can't imagine how much the non-Hammett toll will cost me.
Turning left onto Shumunkanuc Hill Road, I have another slight respite in a gradual decline.
Hill climb #4:  Upward now on part of the Firm Man Half Ironman course.  This climb is much shorter; nice views from top of hill.
Turning left onto Burdickville Road, there is a screaming descent down to the Amtrak bridge.  I remember this as just a crazy tight turn on the bike course; running it is just killing my quads.
Hill climb #5:  From the Amtrak bridge up to Riverside Farms.  Like the previous hill climb, this one is not so steep or long, but at mile 13 of this, I can really feel it.  At the top of the hill I see what appears to be a haywagon moving on its own.  Focus!  The wagon isn't moving at all.  Not good.  Take another gel and Gatorade; one more climb to go.
Ascending Mt. Burdickville
Another downhill section to the Pawcatuck River and crossing into Hopkinton.
Hill climb #6:  This one is only 1/2 mile, but man is it steep (see picture of me ascending this at right).  My stride becomes shorter and shorter as my pace slows to a shuffle.
At mile 15, turned left (west) onto Route 91, there is a long slow decline to Bradford.  At Bradford, I cross back over the Pawcatuck into Westerly, which sounded good until I realized it's a long ways from Bradford back to the Misquamicut area.
Don't look at the Dunkin' Donuts
At mile 19, I reach Dunn's Corners and hear a voice in my head.  I look right and I see it calling to me in all its glory:  the DD palace!  My left and right side of my brain are fighting between "Wouldn't an ice coffee and some food hit the spot" and "Don't look at the DD".  Good thing I don't have any money on me.
By mile 21, even the rolling hills on Links Passage are painful, but I'm getting close.  Stumble my way home.
Final stats:  mileage - 22.7 miles, time - 2:52:07, average pace - 7:35, weight loss - 7 pounds (not good to lose more than 5% of my body weight), legs - sore for the rest of the day.
Outside of a marathon, this is the longest non-stop run I have ever done.
Thursday:  3 miles
Short slow run at pre-dawn in Misquamicut to try to get the kinks out of the legs from yesterday's adventure.

Friday:  0 miles
Hiked 5 miles with family at Valley Forge National Park, PA.  Legs were more tired than if I had run 5 miles.
Housing of Gen James Varnum of RI,
Valley Forge encampment 1777-78

Saturday:  4 miles
Schuylkill River Trail, Philadelphia, PA.  Easy morning run with my two boys.  Trail system here branches out for miles, including 20 miles out to Valley Forge, and eventually connecting to Appalachian Trail. 
Obligatory "Rocky" run up
steps of Philly Art Museum,
end of Philly Marathon course

Views from the trail:
Fairmount Water Works and
Schuylkill River

Schuylkill River Trail and
Philadelphia marathon route
Trail and river view


Sunday: 6 miles
Morning run with Matthew. One thing about running with a 12-year old is that you have to have flexibility. Matthew designed today's course on the computer, showed it to me, and asked me to remember so that we take the right turns. I focused my feeble brain hard to remember, and about 1/2 mile into the run, he told me he didn't want to run that route anymore! OK, so now what are we doing? Can we run the fun run 5K route? Sure. Switched roads and ran to that course, and then back home adding in one diversion to get 6 miles.  He's intent on gradually increasing the miles to 10+, a condition I gave him before I'd sign him up for the Blessing of the Fleet. 
I checked my in-box later in the afternoon; found an entry from him titled "Next week's route:  7.25 miles" along with a mapped route!
Afternoon swim with Matthew.  He just keeps going!  We swam 750 yards at the Y.  I raced him for 50 yards, but couldn't keep up.

Weekly total:  36 miles
Minuses:  Didn't run as many miles or days as I had hoped.
Pluses:  got in my last 20+ miler, spent lots of time with wife and kids on their spring break, ran 10 of my miles with my kids, fun in Philly


  1. Jeff - great run on Wednesday. Sounds like you're ready for the marathon. My house has the view at hill #4.

  2. Excellent work on Wednesday, Gazelle!! You're definitely ready for an easy 26.2 in May!