Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Weekly Log 24-Jun to 30-Jun-2013

Blog photos (clockwise from upper left):  
Ocean  Beach, Blessing, Run 4 Kerri, Stavros, Camire's Firecracker, Crabman
Kudos to Crutch and Muddy.

Monday:  0
Had an invite for an evening pond swim, but the body said it needed a full rest day.

4 miles.  5AM WHS track workout.  Today is WTAC track workout day, but dispersed over various times and locations.  Jonny's e-mail about a 6AM CHS track workout beckoned to me, but there was no way I could make that (my train departs Westerly at 6:02), so I did the next best thing and made my own short workout:
Jogged from the Y to WHS, 2 warmup laps, then 5 x 400:  83, 81, 78, 78, 77.  I was happy with myself for even getting out there solo, plus not going all out on the 1st lap and having nothing left.  I have no illusions of making it to the track every week, as I like running in circles in heat and humidity about as much as Mike B likes winter, but I also know I need to work in some speedwork component.  Downhill to Wilcox Park, showered at the Y (where I saw Steve getting ready for a spin class), and hopped on the train, leaving the WHS track warmed up and in good condition for the next crew of Muddy and FiveK coming in at 6AM.

6 miles.  Stonington Fun Run week #5.  Warm-up with Don, Tom, Mike B.  Steamy hot in the low 80s.  Eased into it with a 6:43 first mile.  Tom and Mike were so far ahead I wasn't going after them.  But as I slowly picked up the pace into the 2nd lap (6:31 mile 2), I could see them just a block ahead when I got to Omega.  Well, I "have" to go after them now!  Caught up with them by the library and ran in with them (6:13 mile 3) for a 20:11 finish.  Cool-down with the two of them, plus JP and friend, and just could not stop sweating.  Enjoyed a drink on the docks with friends.

 3 miles.  Misquamicut Fun Runs week #3.  Hot and humid, with temps near 80.  Thought I took this one easier and a little slower, so was shocked with my splits and that overall I was just 1 second slower than last week:  5:35, 5:53, 5:47, overall 18:16.

Thursday:  0
Long work day, late evening after-work event in Beantown.

13 miles total.

Morning:  7.5 miles.  Tom had the brilliant idea to continue the beach run and ocean dip from the solstice last Friday and make it each Friday morning at 5AM.  He, Mike B, and I met up at Charlestown Breachway for a 7.5 mile through local neighborhoods and back on the beach barefoot for last section.  Got back to the breachway just as the skies were opening up.
Jumped in the ocean and played in the waves for a bit in an absolute downpour.  Fun!  I had expected the beach to be packed on this summer day, but there wasn't a soul on the beach save us and a fisherman that left once the rain came.  It turns out that 5AM in the pouring rain isn't a popular time to go to the beach.  Huh!  Go figure.  Meanwhile Julie is reading this shaking her head wondering what numb-skulls her husband got involved with.

Evening:  5.5 miles.  Groton Fun Runs, 1st week.  Trail runs in Bluff Point State Park.  Light attendance of about 30 for 1st week.  A kid shot off at the starting line to lead by a huge margin, until I reeled him in about 3/4 mile later.  Not too hot, but very humid.  Matthew easily finished 4th.  Jana ("I don't run trails") ran the full 3.5 mile run, so congrats to her!

42 miles!  Nice 6AM long ride w/FiveK out through Stonington, up North Main/Taugwonk/Rocky Hollow/Wyassup into North Stonington.  The hills were already challenging up to this point, and then we hit Chester Main:  1 mile continuous climb with elevation gain of 223'.  Beautiful views from the vineyard and countryside up top.
Rode past the Crutchley residence, where not a creature was stirring.  We think we might have heard Mike snoring.  216 through the bustling Clark's Falls, the 'Shway,  Bradford, and out to Route 1 in Charlestown, where we enjoyed a break over iced coffee at Dave's Coffee, before the return ride to Westerly.  Fantastic ride!
8 mile run with Matthew, as part of his training for Blessing of the Fleet race next month.  Local Misquamicut roads.  Humid!

15 mile humid group run with Muddy, WhichWay?, and New Zealander transplant Ryan.  Meadowbrook Pond in Wood River Junction out Carter Preserve, roads into Shannock, Shannock Hill climb and steep descent, then on Pine Hill Road we heard "Strava" yelled.  Turned out it was Mike Galoob leading a pack of cyclists!  North South Trail back to WRJ, where Muddy and I dove into the pond.  Afterwards we saw a "No Swimming" sign.  Oh well.  Good run.  Legs are feeling it.

Weekly totals:
Run:  49 miles
Bike:  42 miles
Swim:  0

Week recap:
2013 is officially half over.  I'm behind on my running goal of 2,200 miles, but only by ~70 miles, and besides, it's a goal to encourage me to get out there, as opposed to a do-or-die mandate.
For my core activity, running, another really solid week with a nearly 50-mile week.  Only got a single ride in, but made the most of it by getting my longest ride this year (42 miles) and some serious hill climbs.  The swim suffered as I didn't get in any at all, and it's my lowest priority and enjoyment.  Really takes some careful planning to get all three in.
Looking ahead to next week, I'll be adding in another group track workout early Tuesday, ocean swim and easy fun run Wednesday, Camire's final Firecracker race Thursday, and a fun group beach run Friday.  Now if only this dreary perpetual fog and mist would go away ...

Friday, June 21, 2013

Weekly Log 17-Jun to 23-Jun-2013

Summer has officially arrived!  That also means I've changed the blog header pics, and my usual challenge goes out to see who can identify all the race locations first.  Happy summer!

Monday: 0
Head timer duties at Hershey Track Meet at CHS.  Matthew took a 1st in both 800 (2:30) and 1600 (5:34) and advances to the state level.

6 miles.  Stonington Fun Runs week #4.  Warm-up with Matthew and Mike B. During the run, I spotted a "Smuttynose" shirt, and as this is a marathon I'm considering, I ran with the guy and peppered him with questions.  By then Mike B was long gone ahead and I hoofed to catch up with him.  6:43 / 6:37 / 5:58, 20:02 overall.

 6 miles.  Pretty pathetic pace and distance, but the purpose was to spray-paint fluorescent green arrows on the Fun Run course.
 3 miles.  Westerly Fun Runs week #2.  I hung with the lead pack (Nick, Jonny, Muddy) for 1 mile and crossed Mile 1 in 5:34.  Totally unsustainable and Muddy and I backed off.  Passed Muddy on 2nd mile (you know he's not up to speed if I'm passing him) and finished the next 2 miles at 6:01 and 5:50 to finish in a 18:15 overall.  Nick in 1st, Jonny 2nd, and somehow Matthew pulled a new PR on this course - 19:01.

6 miles.  JP Morgan Corporate Challenge, Boston.  Seth roped me into running this one.  The logistics and timing (7:15 race start with 12,000 runners, getting home after 11PM) are less than desirable, but this is the race that got me a paid trip to finals in Singapore two years back.
Pre-race in Boston Common

Free professional pic from JP Morgan

Met up with Seth at my office about 5PM, and we meandered out to Boston Common for a warm-up, company picture, and then to get as near to the starting line as possible 40 minutes before race start to get a good position.
Thousands of runners, but fortunately
4 lanes of road for running

Took it out fast off the starting line at 5:38 first mile.  Too fast, in fact, as next two miles were 5:53 and 5:59.  Flat fast course on a multi-lane main road (Commonwealth Ave) closed to traffic - I should have been able to take the last 2 miles faster, but happy with overall time of 20:25 (5:50 pace), which was a PR for me of 36 seconds.  Seth was right behind me 10 seconds later.
80th out of 12,000.

21 miles on the 21st of June.  Summer Solstice!
Morning:  16 miles.  Woke up at 4AM on 4 hours sleep.  Stared at the ceiling for 15 minutes, then decided I might as well get up and run - we'll leave the beauty sleep to Critchlery.  Left the house at 4:30AM, ran the beach from Misquamicut to Weekapaug.  Met up with the guys.  Thought they were all throwing rocks at me, but it turned out only to be Boumenot.  Figures!
Silhouetted against the first sunrise of the summer
Beautiful shoreline on deserted section in Charlestown
Thanks Chris for taking pics!

Six of us (Muddy, Jonny, newbie Chris, FiveK, Mike B, and I) ran out to Quonnie Breachway and back the sand trail.  Next Atlantic Ave to Town Beach and back to Weekapaug on the beach.  Ran home solo to make 16 miles.  Awesome fun!
Midday:  5 miles.  Summer Solstice running continued with Muddy.  The two of us ran one of my favorite places - the Town Forest.  Overgrown in a few places reminds me to contact the Town Manager again and ask if WTAC guys can help clear a few spots, or whether the town has maintenance plans.

36 miles.  Left at 5:45AM, met up at FiveK's place for the route he had picked out:  Dunn's Corners to Bradford, 216 to Chase Hill Road, crossing over Route 3 back into Westerly on local roads to Potter Hill climb, through downtown, Watch Hill, to Weekapaug and back.
FiveK flew up Chase Hill Road and left me in the dust.  That woke me up and I pushed harder and earlier on Potter Hill climb.  Downtown was still deserted when we rode through middle of the road at 7AM - who is still sleeping at this hour?  From Watch Hill, we pushed it hard on two flat stretches:  Ocean View Highway, and then Atlantic out to Weekapaug.  Thought I had nothing left on the last one, so I was thrilled to average 23mph on the Atlantic section.  Coasted through Weekapaug on fumes, and Tom treated us to iced coffees.  Short cool-down back to the house.  Awesome ride.
 3 miles.  Barefoot run from Town Beach to Weekapaug Breachway and back, with Matthew and FiveK.  No Crutch or Boumenot sightings at Seaside.
1/2 mile (?).  Town Beach to Windjammer back with FiveK.  Fairly easy swim.  Arms fried.

 12 miles.  Morning trail run with Muddy, WhichWay? (newest nickname for our friend Mike B, who annoyed us asking 80,000 times "Which Way?" along the trail, even when there was no direction but straight), and Crutch.  Ran from Dunn's Corners up quiet South Woody Hill Road into Woody for a few loops where I made sure to go to 3 highlights:  Rock cliff, Woody Hill swamp and dam, and stone fort hangout.
Tried many times to lose "WhichWay?" including giving intentionally false directions, but the guy kept coming back. :)  Abandoned any attempt at Swamp Trail today due to likely flooding, but reminded me of my grandiose plans to build "Swamp Bypass Trail".  Not until fall, as deer flies imminent with a few early harbingers seen.
Rocked it in Wahaneeta and saw cool new dirt parking lot (yes, I'm excited about a parking lot, as it puts an end to Wahaneeta access issues).  Schlepped it back to DC.

Weekly totals:
Run:  51 miles
Bike:  42 miles
Swim:  0.5 miles

Week recap:
Awesome week!  Summer has arrived, and our Summer solstice festivities Friday were the highlight of my week.  Thanks Muddy and Jonny for arranging!  Met a new running friend and inductee into WTAC - Chris.  Also, get this (I hope you're sitting down):  we even got Critchlery to make a 6AM group run!  Seriously!  Really high running mileage week for me, especially during tri season.  My legs are paying for it at end of weekend, but definitely worth it.
Looking ahead, less racing for me in the next two weeks, but I do hope to repeat the long run / long ride next weekend.  Only race in immediate sight is I just signed up for Camire's on 4th of July.  Any other takers?  Looking longer, I still need to figure out my Half Iron event, and for a fall marathon I'm leaning closer to Smuttynose.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Niantic Bay 10K

Friday, June 14, 2013

Full results here.  3rd out of 215.  37:53, 6:06 average pace.

Warm-up:  Trying to keep some weekends free for long runs and rides, and this one clicked with a Friday evening time.  Warmed up for 2.5 miles on the course with Jonny, Matthew, and Crutch for the first mile or so.
Race start

Out:  Out and back course, with a small loop at end which avoided a cone turnaround that I dislike.  Jonny took off right out of the gate (surprise, surprise), followed by me and an 18-year old tall kid.  The kid went by me pretty easily and then hopped right on Jonny's tail.  I watched the two of them all the way out to the point, and felt for Jonny in the hunted position.  At the peninsula, was hoping for more of a picturesque view like Brenton Point, but not much waterview.  I was petering out by this point, and as we made the turn doubling back onto the out-back course, that was the last I saw of Jonny.
Mile 1/2/3:  5:51, 5:56, 6:04
Finishing strides

Back:  The thrill of seeing oncoming runners keeps me motivated for a while, but by the end of Mile 4, I'm running completely as an island.  Can't see anyone ahead of me; can't hear anyone behind me.  The small uphill in the sun at Mile 5 doesn't help, and my pace continues to slow.  The final mile is a relief as mostly downhill back to sea level and shaded.
Mile 4/5/6:  6:09, 6:15, 6:08
Good showing for Team WTAC

Wrap-up:  Cooled down with WTAC teammates Jonny (WINNER!), Steve, and Josh, before coming back for chowder, pizza, and awards.  Caught up with fellow bloggers Beth and also Don W.  Wasn't thrilled with my time and slowing paces, but had a really fun time.  Nice party atmosphere with a band right along the water.  Notable achievements:

  • Jonny:  Way to persevere for the W!  Really happy to learn he had outlasted the kid.
  • Matthew:  6th place overall!!!  On the warm-up, he was talking about hoping to go below 45.  He broke 40 minutes!!
  • Jeff V:  He was the one that I got the first communication from on this race, and turned in a pretty awesome 4th place.
  • Steve:  Anything longer than 5K he usually backs away from these days, and he said afterwards he was glad I encouraged him.  (I was texting him during the day)
  • Crutch:  The look on his face when he got called up for age group award was precious!
  • John:  Another age group win!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Weekly Log 10-Jun to 16-Jun-2013

15 mile equivalent in a Spinning class at the Y with FiveK.  What form of punishment is this?  With the rain, we moved our ride indoors.  There were about 15 people in the class, with a ratio of about 2:1 females.  (I wouldn't have noticed that, but I think that's what my single friend told me.)  The level of effort is whatever you put in, so when the instructor said it bring it up to a "10" (effort on a scale of 1-10), that's what I did.  After the triathlon just the previous day, with this session being mostly out of the saddle climbing, I could really feel the workout on the legs.

6 miles.  Stonington Fun Runs week #3.  About 35 people showed up.  Many probably turned off by the downpour just prior to start, but by 6:15PM send-off it had completely stopped raining with sun even poking in and out.  2 mile warm-up with Matthew, then FiveK.
At start, FiveK asked me if I'd want to run 6:30 pace with him.  Sure, sounds good, as I wanted to take it easier given Monday workout and upcoming Wednesday Westerly Fun Run.  Bu this was feeling like a hard 6:30; it must have been because of the near 100% humidity?  Nope, that ain't it - mile split came in - 5:51!!  Not what I was looking for, so I told Tom I'd finish up the 1st lap (of 2) with him and the lead kid, and then drop back to run closer to 6:30.  I didn't exactly run 6:30s myself, but with Mile 2 and 3 at 6:01 and 6:16 respectively, it was a little more comfortable.

1,000 yards.  Tough getting out of bed at 4 for this one.  Probably last pool swim for a while, as pool closed for next two weeks, putting us into July when I typically do all my swims outdoors in open water.  Don't know if I inhaled too many pool chemicals, but couldn't stop sneezing rest of the day.  Usual workout, with my 2 x (2 x 50) at (49, 53, 50, 55).
15 miles.  Slow biking repeatedly over Fun Run course clearing debris, marking, etc.
3 miles.  Misquamicut Fun Run debut week of season.  Results here, with click-through to full individual results  Overall went quite well:  about 60 runners total for the 3 races (0.3 mile for kids, 1 mile, and 5K).  I started out about 5th place for the first mile, behind Tom, Nick Celico, and two kids.  Passed the two kids in the long Crandall St stretch, and came through the mile in about 5:30.  On the short hill climb, I could hear someone coming right up behind me.  I was thinking this was a Jonny strategy with his superb hill strength, but thought he wasn't running (later found out it was, and it was him).  After the hill climb, I finished Mile 2 in 5:58 and then was able to resume a faster pace.  I didn't hear the footsteps anymore, and finished Mile 3 in 5:43 and closed out with an 18:13 overall.  Just 3 seconds off my PR on this course - not bad for first run of the season!

Thursday:  0

10 miles.  Niantic Bay 10K.  Write-up real soon.  Promise!

 15 miles with Jonny.  This was an adult version of splashing in the puddles and mud.  Met Jonny at 6AM at Burlingame.  Ran up to Kimball trails, then traced the Brrr-lingame course.  At the risk of the obvious, this looked completely different than the last time I ran these trails, which was at Galoob's race just after the blizzard.  Until this point, the trails were high and dry.
As we ran to the bridges to Vin Gormley, we pussy-footed around puddles.  By the time we got to the North Camp trail down to the pond, we were just running through puddles and streams - I was actually looking forward to them.  Added on some additional miles on parts of Sammy C and Schoolhouse - I would need Jonny the trailmaster to retrace.  Finished up at the picnic area and shook what mud we could out of socks and shoes - good fun.  I reminded myself and Jonny that I need to do less races and more of these fun runs.
1 mile is my best guess for this 37-minute swim with FiveK in "Salt Pond" (really Winnapaug Pond).  I got the pleasure of getting picked up in his Mustang convertible.  Felt like I was returning to my youth when I drove my own convertible down the Misquamicut strip, including when the two of us were driving though the State Beach lot and 3 girls asked us for a ride - OK, they were probably 30 years my junior, but it was interesting just the same.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah - the swim - started across the road from the State Beach, swam out towards the Purple Ape, then towards the end of the Nature Conservancy trail off Shore Road and on the opposite side of the pond.  Man, that seemed really far away.  The arms and legs feel it, but really good swim.

31 miles.  50K early morning Father's Day ride with FiveK and Eric.  I like the punishment of the Charlestown hills, so that's where I led us back to.  I'm convinced it will make me a stronger cyclist at tris.  A few flat sections on Route 1 and 91 were where we pushed it pretty hard.  On Kings Factory road return we had a Muddy Puddin' sighting - confirmed, and on return the 3 of us enjoyed an iced coffee outdoors at Dave's Coffee in Charlestown before going our separate ways in Weekapaug.  Fun ride - looking forward to more of these.
Father's Day breakfast at Prime Time, afternoon played football and frisbee with my boys at Wilcox Park while Jana read a book, then the 4 of us pigged out on ice cream at Downtown Creamery.

Weekly totals:
Run:  34 miles
Bike:  61 miles
Swim:  2,800 yards

Week in review:
Highest mileage total in all 3 sports I've had in quite some time.  Maybe ever?  Just had a lot of fun, and enjoying the variety, running/biking/swimming friends, and warmer weather.
The week forthcoming looks real busy already:  Mon timing and encouraging Matthew at Hershey track meet at Chariho, Tue Stonington Fun Run, Wed Westerly Fun Run,  Thu Corporate Challenge in Boston w/Seth, Fri/Sat/Sun ???.  Legs are fried at end of weekend, but I'm lovin' it as we sail towards 1st day of summer.
Rock on, friends.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mystic Y Triathlon

Sunday, June 9, 2013

My first tri of the year.  Arrived about an hour early to set up and get body marked.  Ran into a lot of familiar faces, including Jeff Duda, Steve Schonning, Josh and Kate, Bob Lohmann (NSEF RD), Melanie (Pawcatuck Lions RD).  That helped my nerves a little bit, as did going out for a short run out to the bridge at Mystic Point and back.

Results:  1:24:07, 37th out of 188.  Age group 5th out of 20.  Full results here.
By comparison, in 2008 (only other time I've run this), I was 77 of 214, and age group 11 out of 20, so I'd say that's progress.

Swim:  20:49, 135 out of 188.  [can't compare to 2008, as swim course differed] After brief instructions and the national anthem, the first wave (Men under 40) was off swimming their 0.5 mile triangular course (Jeff D later told me he measured it at 0.7).  Three minutes later we (Men 40 & over) were off, followed three minutes after that by the final wave (Women).  The water was colder than Watchaug Pond yesterday, but not nearly as cold as the ocean.  I got kicked and my legs grabbed a few times, but all minor.  Got into my slow but sure rhythm and made my way across the Mystic River to the first buoy, where we turned to the right.  I was thrilled when the second buoy seemed to come up quickly as I thought that the last one, until I next saw us swimming towards a third buoy - damn, I must have read the map wrong.  Around the 3rd buoy, and finally I can see the beach!!  Made my way swimming through huge wooden upright poles, made the beach, and ran awkwardly up the shore while stripping out of my cap, goggles, and wetsuit.  Polly knows my Achilles heal, as she yelled to me, "Your worst part is over, Jeff".

Bike:  42:15, 46th place [2008 comparison:  47:18, 129th place].  After a long T1 of 2:12 (was I taking a nap?), the bike race was on.  In the first few miles, I passed dozens of cyclists (mostly women - not a knock on the fairer sex, but rather a knock on me as I had a 3 minute head start on all women in the swim and many were ahead of me now).  Heard a cyclist coming up on me fast.  I got chicked.  Maybe she's a stronger cyclist than me, maybe she's not, but only one way to find out:  pour it on.  Passed her about 1/2 mile later, and never looked back, as I pushed hard the rest of the course continuing to pass cyclists on flats, up hills, down hills, over beautiful countryside.  Later found out I averaged 19.7 mph - my fastest bike portion of a tri ever!  I someone managed not to get passed by anyone on the bike; let's see how I can do on the run.
Runner leaving transition area to start run portion
Run:  17:51, 4th place [2008 comparison:  18:47, 6th place].  The legs were more than a little wobbly out of the gate as I headed out to Mason's Island picking off competitors.  Got a double wake-up call at Mile 1:  6:31 pace - really?  What's going on here?  At a cone turn-around, I saw age-group competitor Stan Mickus just behind me and reeling me in [I eked out a win over him at Li'l Rhody, but he destroyed me at Shad Bloom a few weeks back].  Time to ratchet it up.  Out to the marina, and back.  Mile 2:  6:06 - much better, but I don't think it's going to cut it.  Picked it up more to finish Mile 3 in a much better 5:49 pace, and held off Stan.  Passed 29 runners, passed by zero.
Finish line:  End of the race

- Strong bike portion, fastest ever.
- Smooth T2.
- Pushed it hard on end of run on tired legs.
- What a blast!  I had just an awesome time out there, and can't wait to do it again.  I'd swap out a straight running race for a tri in a heartbeat (well, except for maybe the price difference), even though I'm much better at running than tris.

- Really slow swim.  Have to continue to work on that, and maybe consider a swim clinic.
- My T1 was just too disorganized.  Where did I put my sunglasses, etc.?  Need to get it together.
- My run paces were too inconsistent, even after factoring in that it's hard to get off the bike and immediately run.
- Biggest disappointment:  looking at my race calendar, and seeing my next tri isn't for 7 weeks.  :(

Best quotes (approximate), unsolicited, giving me a lot of inspiration at the event:
- From a runner I passed with less than a mile to go:  "Dude, did you bike any part of the bike course at all?  Seriously, you shouldn't have that kind of energy."
- From Jeff Duda (race winner):  "I was watching you running, and you just looked a man in a sea of boys running."

Now I'm sure they said the opposite of me on my swim, but it did make my day.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Weekly Log 3-Jun to 9-Jun-2013

This week's blog posting is dedicated to my Mom.  After living in this country for 50 years, my Mom became a US citizen this week.  Mom has been there for me through thick and thin and at many of my life events, including my first Boston Marathon, so I was thrilled to be there for her at her naturalization ceremony on Wednesday.  Happy to see Mom will always retain much of her heritage, though, as her test for me was to drive her to the ceremony in Johnston using nothing more than her GPS barking orders to me in German!

16 miles. Watch Hill, Misquamicut, and Weekapaug shoreline roads with FiveK.  Absolute hammer show on the flat sections of Ocean View Highway and Atlantic.  It appears that Strava is more popular with cyclists than runners, as may of our run segments may have 2-5 people, whereas the 3 major segments on this ride range from 76 to 191 people!
Ocean View Highway was our first and fastest segment at 23.8mph, which was good for 20th out of 191 on the leaderboard.  Rode Atlantic Ave eastbound at 22.5mph, where Tom and I took an easy spin in Weekapaug, before one final sprint:  Hammered Atlantic Ave westbound into a very slight headwind at 20.9mph.  I was spent after that last 2.6 mile sprint, and took me a little bit to stop panting like a dog, but wow, what a workout!  Really stoked on this one.

7 miles in the Borough.  Stonington Fun Run week #2 drew at least triple the previous week's crowd, no doubt due to the better weather.  Even dragged FiveK into the mix.  At the start of the fun run, FiveK, Mike B, and I were running together, but we broke apart over time.  I could see FiveK was eager to chase down the leaders, so it was good for him to take off.  I ran with Mike for the 1st (of 2) laps, but by then a pack of about 5 had encircled us, and as our pace had slowed in Mile 2 to 6:30 (from Mile 1 6:21), as the pack took off, I was eager to stay with them, so I went with them for the final mile of 6:07.
Did a cool-down run with FiveK, and as I could sense he was having a miserable time today between a run on a beautiful day where he drove his convertible, warm but not hot temperatures, and ocean views on the course, I added to his misery by dragging him dockside for a free drink along the water at our WTAC table. Doubt we'll ever see that guy again [dripping with sarcasm].

1,000 yards.  Alarm went off at 4:15AM, and I did not want to get my carcass out of bed, but this is where having a partner in crime really pays off.  Knowing FiveK was picking me up in 30 minutes for our 5AM swim meant I "had" to get out of bed.  Really glad I did, as we had a great workout of 450 warm-up, 2 x (2 x 50) [49, 53, 50, 54] - wish I could lower those, mixed with drills.
6 miles.  Fast forward to late afternoon.  Had to bring Matthew to Chariho for a Hershey's Track Meet practice, so used my hour there to go for a solo run.  Ran out to Meadowbrook Pond, where I picked up the North-South Trail up to Pine Hill Road, and roads back.  A little hot on the roads and open cornfield sections of the trail, but cool and awesome on the forested section of trails.  Saw two runners and a mountain bike rider on the trail.
One of the runners had a wooden rod, inevitably to ward off hissing chipmunks woodchucks that scare off Mike B on his runs, but unlike Seth, he carried the wooden rod in his hands and not his shorts.
Unplanned progression run, as I felt good along the way and picked it up:  7:12, 6:45, 6:46, 6:38, 6:14, 6:11.

Thursday:  0

6 miles.  445 Club with Tom and Mike, first one from Mike B's house.  Out and back on roads I had never been on, so I was taking in the scenery for the route, from neighborhoods to farms.  70' hill climb on the way, pushed it in the last mile.

3 miles.  Charlestown - Ran Back Road Ramble course with Tom and Matthew.  We figured for sure this would be the day that that Critchlery dude would show up, but not today - it'll happen.  Cool feeling (57 degrees and breezy) soon gave way to sweaty humidity.
1,000 yards.  We followed up the run with a Watchaug Pond open water swim.

Any of you Strava experts know why Strava is smoothing my swim lines (in first image),
whereas Garmin Connect is showing more natural course lines (in 2nd image - immediately above)?
I'd like to think I swim perfectly straight swim lines! :) , but I know that's not reality

Matthew had some minor trouble and anxiety between his first open water swim of the year, swimming into the current and waves, and problems with new goggles.  He did fine on the return after some adjustments, and Tom and I continued on.  I can't keep up with him, but we decided ahead of time on a distant buoy to head for, and had a couple of checkpoints.  Felt good, but wouldn't have wanted to go further with my first tri tomorrow.
Matthew, on the other hand, apparently didn't get enough bricks, as he came home, met up with a friend, rode 10 miles and then went out for another run.

Mystic Y Tri.  Write-up shortly.
0.7 miles (we'll go with 1,000 yards)
14 miles
4 miles

Weekly Totals:
Run:  26 miles
Bike:  30 miles
Swim:  3,000 yards

Week recap:
Oddly enough, got 3 swims in this week and pleased with my efforts there.  The bike mileage was a little short, although Monday was just AWESOME and I think it paid dividends at the tri.  Now into tri season, I won't be averaging 45 miles running anymore, but would like to get it closer to 35.
Loving the fun runs (Westerly starts Wed 6/12) and the tri season.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back Road Ramble

Back Road Ramble 3.4 Mile Trail Race
Camp Watchaug, Charlestown, RI
Sunday, June 2, 2013

Back to back race weekend, having run the Pawcatuck Lions 5K the day prior.  Not ideal running conditions at about 72 degrees, but being a few degrees cooler than prior day and mostly shaded on trail definitely helped.  Had a 2-mile warm-up with Tom and Matthew, and saw that the trail markings had greatly improved over last year.
Starting line of Back Road Ramble
At the starting line, a 16-year old runner blasted out ahead of all of us, even through the mulch and area littered with stumps and a stone wall crossing.  He looked like a serious contender, thin, and clad in a CVS 5K technical shirt.  However, when I saw the ease which Tom overtook him just 1/4 mile in, I knew I had nothing to dread.  I passed the CVS kid about 1/2 mile in, and then followed Tom into the campground, where I saw him on the first road or two and then not again until the finish.  At a 90 degree turn about a mile and a quarter in, I turned back to see how far behind me CVS kid was.  No CVS kid in sight at all, but who is that behind me now?  It's Matthew!  Nice job!  I'm thrilled for him and scared for me at the same time.  Could have been one or two more signs or marshals in the campground at intersections, but overall well done with marking this year.  Back onto the single-track and then Sanctuary Road for the final mile, finished in 20:50.
Uphill finish well marked with streamers

WTAC contingent - all top 10 finishers!

Is this why they call me "gazelle"?
Tired and hot, but much better conditions than at Pawcatuck.  Cool-down with Tom and Mike C (who by the way, now goes by "Critchlery" - see results link at bottom); the cool-down was not possible at Pawcatuck.  Tom had an easy win over that 2nd guy, while Matthew pulled his first ever top 3, and Steve and Mike were in top 10!
Beautiful waterfront was the awards venue

Critchlery and FiveK missed out on the water trampoline:
Man, was that fun!  If I timed my landing just after one of the big guys,
I could really fly up into the air, sometimes landing back on trampoline,
sometimes in the water

Kayaking fun with Matthew - all included in the race admission

Cookout and sandwiches were served at a picnic area on the waterfront, followed by fun on the water for those who stayed.  Nice race.  Nice setting.  I'll be back.

Final results:  20:50, 2nd overall of 60.  Full results here.