Rest day. Middle School Southern RI Divisional Track Championships. Mark took home two bronze medals with 3rd overall finishes in both the 800 and 1,500, the highlight being a PR in the 1,500 with a 4:56. Matthew took 5th overall in the 3,000 with an 11:34, but in Matthew style he was disappointed that he didn't PR. I had to remind him not every race can be a PR, and he did awesome, and that he's ONLY a 6th grader competing against the big boys.
4 miles in Misquamicut. It was just getting light at 5AM so I snuck onto the beach. The feeling of running right alongside crashing waves on a beautiful beach that I have totally to myself with purple cloud formations overhead intensifying pre-sunrise was just awesome. That should help stave off some stress as I depart my early morning idyllic run for the rat race in the concrete jungle.
14 miles. Speed work, wettest run I have ever done, plus a trail/mud adventure. Tri-town run: Westerly Y to Springbrook, Boombridge to North Stonington, Anthony to Ashaway, Potter Hill to Westerly Town Forest, and back.
Started in mist and sprinkling rain, but the time I got to North Stonington it was an absolute downpour. As with my run with Muddy a week ago, I spent the first mile or two skipping around puddles like a pansy, but then got soaked and ran through them.
After a 10-minute warmup, I ran the following drill I got from Tom:
Got to Westerly Town Forest as the downpour resumed, and questioned whether I should proceed. Go for it! I found the advantage on roads in this kind of weather is that you can see to the bottom of puddles; in the forest I found myself jumping over logs to land in puddles calf-deep or losing my balance from stepping on a rock I couldn't see underwater. Took the trail to the Pawcatuck River, which the trail itself was basically running downsteam the whole way to the boardwalk. Running back up was surprisingly a lot of work: lifting your foot out of the water to place it in back into the water uphill, repeat over and over again. Didn't bother with any stream log crossings; just ran through them. By now it got interesting with the thunder and lightning! On one extended section of calf-deep puddles, I didn't bother lifting my feet out of the water and mud; just kind of shuffled along.
Exited the forest, and the rain was ending. Ran through the North End for a diversion. Went past three bus-stops with elementary children. At all three the moms and dads were waiting with their kids while inhaling on cancer sticks. Great stuff! I think they were counseling their young, impressionable kids not to follow the habits of that old man running past them - stay away from that running habit, it's bad for you and will kill you.
Finished my run back to the Y, this time TRYING to run through all the puddles! Got to the Y for a hot shower, and chuckled as my white socks were now dark brown, and the dirt and mud just kept coming out of my shoes, my socks, my toes ...
Wow, was that a different and fun run! Between the speedwork, the hills, and the trail/mud/stream run, what a workout. [1:47:21]
Calves actually felt sore after my romp yesterday.
4 miles only, all trails in Westerly Town Forest. Dropped off boys for track only to learn their practice was only an hour today. Dang! Much less time for gazellin'. Got lost once into a neighborhood, figured my way back out of the labyrinth.
16 miles. Moderately challenging run with Muddy and Mike B. Similar to Wednesday's run, less the rain and speedwork, and plus a few extra trail miles. Ran out Boombridge into North Stonington, then Anthony to Ashaway, and Laurel to Potter Hill. Then spent some fun time running in the Whitely Preserve. Was happy to show Muddy some new trails here. Back onto the road for a good hill climb up Potter Hill before arriving at the Town Forest for more hill climbs and a good 5 miles of trails, as I extended the run by running the trails on the National Grid easement all the way out to Boombridge. These trails have some steep downhill rocky sections, and ended with a stream crossing. As we ended our 5 miles of trails and rejoined the roads, I told the guys that unfortunately this was the end of the "fun". Mike shot back, "Is that what that was?"!
Meandered through the North End, and threw a few more short hills in for the guys, including a stair climb out of the Amtrak tunnel. I think the two of them were ready to throw me in a ditch by then. Good 16 mile workout; I could feel the fatigue in my legs lawn mowing in the afternoon. Mike said that was his longest run ever; hope we didn't scare him off! [2:04:08]
7 miles. Yesterday led Mike B to his longest run ever; today it was Matthew. He chose the course - to and through the Fun Run course, followed by a romp in Champlin. Slower, but steady pace. He did it, and is still insisting he is going to run the Blessing. I think he has the physical endurance and mental fortitude to do it. Quality father/son time. [1:05:xx]
Easy evening spin to and through Misquamicut. Untimed; unmeasured. Decided not to do the Mystic Tri in 2 weeks; just haven't been putting the time in on the bike and swim. That gives me 8 weeks to get it in gear before my 1st tri in mid-July, when I have three in a row coming up quick and all already paid for; so no excuses to bail or not train.
Run: 45 miles