Thursday, December 20, 2012

Weekly Log 17-Dec to 23-Dec-2012

Monday:  0
My usual rest day.

Tuesday:  6
The only upside to getting woken up to work on a business technical issue that lasted from 3AM to 10AM was that I missed all my morning trains, stayed home, and got in some late afternoon trail running before the sun set. 
With shotgun deer season on a respite until December 26, I went out to run trails in Wahaneeta Preserve and Woody Hill Management Area.  Tried two new trails; the first was in Wahaneeta and was awful as too overgrown and had stream crossings too wide for even a gazelle to leap.  The second trail was in Woody Hill and reminded me of the second mile of the Old Mountain 5K 2012 course - swampy, muddy, and ended with cutting through a patch of mountain laurel bushes.  Only downside was where this trail entered Wahaneeta Preserve, I got my lower legs cut up pretty good on a small section going through briars to bypass a downed tree.
Highlight was a brief stop on a rock ledge at Wahaneeta at sunset.  Took in the moment and scenery - not a sight or sound of humans or human evidence.  I love that this is possible even in busy Westerly!  As of late, this place is my solitude and sanctuary!

Wednesday:  11
AM [5]:  Back to Wahaneeta at sunrise.  First order of business was to eliminate the downside from yesterday's run - the downed tree obstructing the trail.  So, the first mile was difficult as I brought along my friend Ryobi for a chainsaw jog.  Not terribly heavy, but it is when you're running and throws your balance off.  Made minced meat out of the tree; now the trail is fit for incorporating into a long run.  Put Ryobi back in the car and continued a short jaunt before getting back for meetings.
PM [6]:  The 445 Club participants (Tom, Mike B, and I) got together for a 5PM "Christmas Light Run".  We could have called it the 5PM Club, but it probably would have confused Mike, so we just went with "Christmas Light Run".  Ran through the Chin Hill, Wicklow Road, and Sea Glen neighborhoods taking in the lights of the season and enjoying a friendly, group run.  Always a good time.

Thursday:  0
My last work day of the year before starting a 12-day vacation!  Taking the day off from running, as tomorrow will start my own version of the "12 Days of Christmas" - running each and every day will be the glorious plan!  Looking forward to spending time over the holidays with my family and running friends.

Friday:  5
Easy pace afternoon run on local roads out to Rock Ridge and back. Rain ended, but still quite blustery.

Saturday:  14

First full day of winter!
Really fun group run with Mike B, Muddy, Jonny, Seth, and Tom.  Ran from Dunn's Corners at 6:30AM, and spent the first half (7 miles) in a big loop in Woody Hill Management Area.  Ran trails past many quarries, remnants of stone foundations from yesteryear, through an obstacle course of a tree that I had intentionally sawed and removed only selected branches from, up and over a rock outcropping, some downhill gazelling single-track, before arriving in Bradford behind a telecommunications shed and out onto roads briefly.  On the return portion of the loop, we took the trails that brought us to and around the pond at Woody Hill Marsh, including over the dam where the water was flowing about the highest I've seen.  Some double and single-track sections brought us back to a gated entrance where Tom had dropped off his car. 
Stone stairs and foundation along the trail
Woody Hill Marsh - along the trail
Said our good-byes to Tom, and the rest of the crew continued on for the second half of the run.  Went through my obstacle tree again, and then started veering west on a trail that brought us to what I call "The Swamp Trail".  Usually, the immensely popular Swamp Trail is teeming with hikers and runners, so I couldn't understand why we didn't see anyone today.  J  I'm not sure I won too many fans on this trail (Mike B said "what trail?" as it's pretty loosely defined), but I know I had fun romping through the mud and swamp on this one.  At this point, it was actually starting to snow lightly!  At the end of The Swamp Trail, we headed south on a more worn trail that brought us to the Westerly Land Trust's newest property and a gem, a 72-acre parcel of land on a former scout camp from the 1930s, now called Wahaneeta Preserve.  On the second stream crossing/jumping, Mike B didn't quite make it across and went into the drink!  He was a trouper and kept going.  I showcased both the man-made features (1930s cabin to be restored, old chimney in the woods, etc) and natural features (rock ledge, more stream crossings that Mike was looking forward to).  The talk was largely on competition (Turtles) and upcoming races (Resolution 5K) as we wound our way through the newly marked trails, some still a work in progress. 
Mike went down on a muddy trail
in Wahaneeta

Few trail runs are complete for me
without earning badges of honor
of blood and gore
Finished our run in Wahaneeta as we left the preserve for 1 mile of windy, car-infested tarmac back to the parking lot as Jonny and Mike led the way.  I think the last mile on roads made us appreciate the calm and solitude of the trails today even more.  We parted ways thinking out possible next get-togethers over the holiday period.  I think I heard a track session, another Christmas Light Run, a pub run, and another long trail run as possibilities.  I hope we do them all!

Sunday:  3
3 quick miles on an afternoon loop to and through Champlin was all I ended up fitting in today.  Surprised and happy to see Carol Ann and her kids and Denise (from Groton Fun Runs) and her kids running the trails here in Westerly.  Tried to talk them into running Resolution 5K, but had to be on my way for a busy family afternoon:
Took the family to Wahaneeta Preserve for a 2-3 mile hike and cabin showing, before turning in the keys back to the WLT.
Followed up the hike with watching "The Hobbit".  Started slowly for a while, but then kept me riveted for the rest of the movie.

Weekly mileage total:  39

Started my holiday vacation, which is now going by much too quickly.  Had fun on group Christmas Light Run and then Woody Hill/Wahaneeta Run.  Looking forward to a few more group runs over the holiday period.


  1. Looking forward to some holiday runs with you guys! Team "Runs with Chainsaws?"

    1. Mike, we'll probably run another "Christmas Light Run" next week from a different location. Will keep you posted.