16 miles. Left the house just after 5:30AM for a Memorial Day run with Tom at Burlingame. Ran the first 5 miles of the Li'l Rhody course, then ventured left onto a singletrack trail that crossed over Buckeye Brook road to the north side and connected to the North-South Trail. Ran North-South Trail for a fun doubletrack run out to Burdickville Road where the trail exits out onto the road. Followed Burdickville Road east to Shumankanuc Hill Road south for some killer hills, which we ran at Gazellosquet pace, especially the downhills. Next Buckeye Brook Road west to reenter the trails south of the road right where we crossed over the first time.
Somewhere soon after this we took a wrong turn, meandered around some trails and ended up back on the road again. By this point, we were more than12 miles in, dehydrated, had "eaten" our fill of large flying bugs, and were feeling disoriented. We needed a Jonny or similar trail guide. Reflecting for a moment and looking at the position of the sun, we figured we were back on Buckeye Brook Road and headed east. A passing motorist confirmed this, after she somehow deduced we were just crazed runners and not psychotic killers coming out of the woods. Ran the rest of the route on roads, including Shumankanuc, Kings Factory, Prosser, and Sanctuary. By this time the additional hills and dehydration were wearing on us and we were just trying to keep each other going. Back at the car, the water Tom brought sure tasted good and went down quick.
4 miles. Ran 2 miles barefoot on Misquamicut Beach with Matthew. My feet have a long way to toughen up before I'm ready to run Stavros On the Beach Run in September. Afterwards, jumped in the ocean (cold!). Evening: Matthew insisted to go to WHS track for a workout. 2 additional miles for me by running the warm-up and cool-down with him; in between I helped him by timing all his various length drills that he designed.
4 miles. Stonington Fun Runs - 1st week. 5K total; 2 loops on roads through the borough. When starting my 2nd loop, marathoner and RD Steve Bessette called out to me, "You just never age, do you?!". If ONLY that were true!
Pushed it reasonably hard but not all out, especially considering it was my hottest run thus far this year at 77 degrees and I just ran 20 miles yesterday. Finished 2nd overall in 19:33; WTAC'er JP was way out ahead in 1st. Waited for Matthew to finish (9th overall out of maybe 50), then off to the docks to redeem popsicle sticks for a beer, wine, or soft drink.
Exercise today was walking the Fun Run course with a wheel measurer.
Day of rest
7 miles. Road, sand, road. Ran with Tom at 4:45AM from his house. Wound around a neighborhood and then down into Weekapaug. It felt like these miles were pushed pretty hard. Checked our splits later; found mile 1 was a "slow" 7:10, followed by mile splits of 6:40 and 6:46. That "Gazellosquet" pace just creeps up on you!
Ran the next few miles on sand: Weekapaug Sand Trail about 1/2 way out, then the beach back, and Noyes Neck back to Tom's. Good early morning run, but we're not done yet ...
27 miles. Started with a 4:30AM ride to Tom's, then took a "break" with some run thing (see above). Resumed by riding out Shore Road to Route 1 to West Beach Road, Charlestown. Tried to keep it at 19-20mph or above on the aerobars going and coming on Route 1, but then changed to a easy spin when cruising through Quonochontaug. Stopped for a break at the breachway, wound through Central Beach, drinking in the stunning coastal beauty. At East Beach, I wiped out in the sand and fell into beach rose bushes. Ouch! Spent the next few minutes picking prickers out of my flesh; otherwise no damage except my pride.
Stopped by the house my grandparents moved the family to in the '50s from Cranston. Right on the pond; wish it was kept in the family and not sold in the '80s. On the way back, stopped at Dave's Coffee and enjoyed an iced coffee on their patio. Nice boutique coffee shop; had never been there before. Finished by going back through Weekapaug and Misquamicut; back home by 8 to attack my day.
There was an old expression on a US Marines TV commercial that went something like, "We get more done by Noon than most people do all day". I think for us WTAC early running crew, it should be, "We get more done by 8AM than most people do all week!"
4 miles. Pawcatuck Lions 5K. See separate write-up.
17 miles. Early morning long run with Muddy, Jonny, Tom, and Mike B. Muddy led on us on a 5-mile tour of Riverwood, a new area for me. Boy Scouts were camping at the foot of the preserve along the river, but they mostly weren't stirring yet when we went through at 6AM. There was deceptively a fair amount of up and down hill short sections here. Fun new area to explore again, if not a tad overgrown in places.
Muddy dropped out, as this was just his "warmup" before going with the Colonel (sorry, I mean Mike G) to get some cash at A Place to Grow 5K. Good job guys!
The 4 of us continued on, just 1/4 mile on Route 3, before Old Hopkinton Cemetery Road and power line easement Jonny was familiar with that brought us up to a romp through Whitely. Back onto the road, Tom had the bright(?) idea of running 30-second pick-ups, modified to 3 telephone poles hard, 2 poles easy. Ran 6 of these to finish just 1/2 mile before Potter Hill climb. Tom surged up this one and I pushed it to try to stay with him for the climb all the way up to the Westerly Town Forest. Fortunately at the top, a kindly soul had arranged a water stop with ice cold water for all.
Romped 4 miles through the Town Forest with a 200+ foot down and up climb in elevation. Included trails on power easement out to Boombridge. I thought I cleverly found a wait to skirt a sharp rock drop and stream crossing by taking an ATV trail through the woods; think I picked the wrong one as it just made for a circuituous and long trail hill climb back onto the same power line trail. Sorry guys!
Finished up with 3 miles of roads to the Y for the end of our point-to-point run. I did great and was having a blast on the trails and hills up to this point, when I was starting to fatigue. [2:11:55]
1/4 mile. First open ocean swim of the year. Town Beach east towards Weekapaug. Still a COLD 59o; took me two tries to get in the water. Waves were really pushing me around. I felt like I was struggling and fatiguing. Was it because of 1st open swim, or tough run workout in the morning?
6+ mile evening run with Matthew. I was ready for sleep and legs were tired, but how can I be a good Dad and turn down a run with a son with full of energy? Fun on quiet Misquamicut runs, including Fun Run course. We turned into our neighborhood, and he sprinted off and left me in the dust.
Run: 58 miles!
Bike: 27 miles
Swim: 0.25 miles
Highest weekly run mileage in weeks, plus first open ocean swim, and a 1st in local 5K. I would call this a very successful week for me. Between running 23 miles Sunday and racing Saturday, my legs are really looking forward to a zero on Monday.