Back to 5-day work weeks, ugh. Mine started off with a three hour morning commute on an overheated train from hell with a guy seated next to me who was twice my size and took up his seat, plus.
Tried to pass the time adding more photos to my Resolution 5K write-up (below this one) and then Googling potential fall 50K races. Have been encouraged by different WTAC runners to try either Bimblers or Pisgah. Tried in vain to find the 2013 date for either, in order to check for conflicts. Did find Vermont 50 (50K or 50Mile option) with a published date of Sun Sep 29. It looks like it's in same area and must be on some of the same trails I found on ski trip last year. Possibility?
|Could it be? Is that really a|
crazed runner up ahead?
- What is your name? (pseudonyms are OK)
- How many miles do you run per week?
- What's your 5K pace?
- Can you please fill out this WTAC application? (A responsible WTAC runner always carries an extra one with him)
- How do you feel about turtles?
WHS track + 7 miles roads. I like going to the track about as much as apparently Mike B likes winter, so getting me out there solo is no small feat. BUT, if I'm going to get any faster, the common school of thought is one part of that equation would be speedwork.
Took a long way to WHS, meandering different roads, through cemeteries, Wilcox Park, and finally a slow shuffle up Park Ave hill to the back of the school. 26 degrees - the track is completely frost covered and a few snow and ice spots. I got myself here already - let's go for it. Ran a short track workout from Dec Runner's World - inverted pyramid "gear changer" workout - 1200@10K pace, 800@5K, 400@1M, back up the pyramid. Unfortunately, didn't quite hit a single one of my desired times! (Garmin snap-shot below) Low point was sliding too much on the 400, from then on opted for a packed snow section in lane 1 over the clear but slick spots. High point was a high school girl giving me a thumbs up accompanied by some verbal encouragement. Took a running break at DD on the way back to thaw out my fingers and body.
Hopefully Muddy and/or Mark don't advise me of a school lock-down this morning due to reports of a deranged creepy old guy hanging around school.
445 Club with Tom. Another brisk pace run, with fastest mile at 6:12. Wound through hills in Chin Hill and No Bottom Pond neighborhoods, then took it out onto the beach for another mile plus stretch out to Misquamicut State Beach. Amazing what a mess it still is there - huge piles of sand in the parking lot, and even the access roads we were running on over a foot of sand covering it.
Burlingame group run on Vin Gormley trail (Li'l Rhody course) with Muddy, Mike C, and newest WTAC members Eric, Shira, and Mark. Pulled in the parking lot and saw many dressed in orange ready to go that I didn't know - thought we had a huge group run until I realized there was a group mountain bike ride taking off about the same time. Chilly at the start waiting around - drizzly and low 40s - but once we hit the trails, it was fine. Some of the trails muddy, but most in good shape and nothing like the rain deluge Jonny and I ran in over Christmas break. Casual paced run around the pond, sprinkled with some good conversation on guess what - yeah, you got it, trail running.
Morning: My longest and hardest trail since Nipmuck Trail Marathon several months ago. Mike G led Muddy, Sandals, Tom, Seth, and me on a really cool trail run in Big River Management Area in West Greenwich (my first foray into Big River):
The visibility was tough for the first mile or two, as we had started before sunrise. Looking at how "un-straight" our running lines in red (above) will give you a feel for the constantly turning and switchback running all morning long. Started off on the appropriately named Pine Trail, a pine-tree covered trail in a pine forest. Other than the lack of light issue, this trail seemed easy enough and pace was slowish on some spots, especially where covered with snow and/or mud. And then the picnic ended ...
From there, Mike took us on many strange-named trails, from Fisher Cat to Rollercoaster (about as flat and straight as the name suggests!) to "I See Dead People", the last being a cool trail strewn with rocks, ditches, ascents, descents, and switchbacks galore. I somehow avoided falling and really enjoyed running that trail hard. The pace was quite spirited through here. I remember finishing a few segments panting and needing to catch my breath. We reached the Wincheck Gun Club, where Mike had kindly stashed some fuel in the form of water bottles and snacks. Here the terrain changed, and we entered an area replete with rhododendrons that reminded me of the Camp Yawgoog sections of the Narragansett Trail. The major climb after that was "Elephant", a 150' ascent through a series of switchbacks that earned us a decent break before continuing. There wasn't nobody engaged in conversation on the climb up Elephant! I can imagine on a clear day the top of Elephant would offer nice views, but nothing on this dreary day.
From Elephant, we had some nice long downhill trails, and I was in my element gazelling through here trying my best to hang with Mike. The rest of the run was quieter as we were really fatiguing the last few few miles, and even small hills by then were burning. Great run and really challenging workout in a new area for me. [17 miles; 2:17:04]
Afternoon: Champlin Trail run with my two boys. The run was short and easy pace, but my legs were screaming at me for running again just a few hours after our long run. I want to make sure I get in at least another trail run with them, and slightly longer, before the Belleville 10K. [4 miles]
Weekly mileage total: 54
Weekly recap: Another high mileage and very fun running week for me. Only two of my runs were solo; it was great to run with varied runners, terrain, pace, etc. Will need to figure out how to optimize running on the upcoming long weekend, but balance with family / kids' activities. Hoping for another big mileage week, before backing off for 3 consecutive weekends of races after that.