Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Weekly Log 27-Jan to 2-Feb-2013

Super 5K race week.  Looking forward to this annual fun event.  17:55 was my time last year, and I think my fastest at this race; let's see what Sunday brings ...

Monday:  0
Rest day.

Tuesday:  9
Nashua, NH.  Working for the day in southern NH, and thought I'd take advantage of a beautiful day (17 degrees, sunny, calm) in a rural environment and go out for a lunch run.  (you know, like Jonny)  Started at the Nashua Y and had intended to run a lot in adjacent Mine Falls Park, but it was very icy and I didn't bring my Yak-Trax.  A couple of miles in the park, but mostly on surrounding roads, including catching a Strava uphill CR.
Back in RI in the evening, finished up the day with a spin session with FiveK.

Wednesday:  13
Lunch:  7.5 miles.  Continued my lunchtime run theme, and with working from home today, ran around the pond adding in FiveK's 5-4-3-2-1-30 sec drill, with 1/2 the time in each recovery.  Average pace for the intervals was about 5:45, slower than I hoped, but a decent effort.
Afternoon:  5.5 miles.  Against a setting sun, hit the trails in Woody Hill.  Crutch ran trails earlier and in a text, suggested Yak-Trak, which served me well as you couldn't see ice under the snow.  There were tracks on the main "roads" leading down to and into the stone fort (in fact it smelled like MaryJane had just been there), but the single-track trails were mine to own.  It was a wee bit dark as I finished up, and I momentarily felt like the Who's Pinball Wizard having to use senses other than sight to get the job done.

Thursday:  6
4:30AM.  10 degrees.  Chilly Westerly Hospital loop.  Calves were pretty sore; I can only guess that's from all the running in the snow yesterday.

Friday:  10
Alarm went off at 4AM, but I ended up skipping the 430 Club as I was feeling quite tired and rundown.  A night of calls from India at 1:50AM followed the next night by Mark's swim meet until 10PM had caught up with me.  In the afternoon, I completely forgot about and blew off a planned swim session with FiveK.  It's probably what Mike B would describe as me "having a senior moment".  I imagine it's all downhill from here, and by next week I'll probably be forgetting where I put my dentures.
On a positive note:  the late night at Mark's swim meet was worth it, as Mark and three of his compadres broke the Westerly High School record in the 4x50 medley relay (Mark swam 50 fly). 
Anyhow, I went out for a nice afternoon 10-miler out to Watch Hill and back on the beach.  Running on the beach in the sun in upper 30s was a nice treat after recent cold snap.

Saturday:  7
Met up with Jonny and Mike B for an easy paced run through the short Mastuxet trails, neighborhood roads and a few mile loop through Champlin Glacier Park trails.  Conversation about Surftown and Pisgah made Jonny's challenge "I'll run your silly race if ..." become increasingly realistic.

Sunday:  7
Super 5K.  Separate write-up to follow shortly.

Weekly totals:
Run:  52 miles
1 Strava CR captured
Spin:  1 x 45 minutes

Finished up January with 232 miles for the month!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Weekly Log 20-Jan to 26-Jan-2013

Snow and cold returns to RI.  Important for me to keep up the fitness, so I expect to be outside getting at it.

Monday:  9
Morning:  MLK Day run around Winnapaug Pond with FiveK.  Barely conversational pace at average 6:31 pace.
Afternoon:  900 yard swim at Y.

Tuesday:  0
After running 80 miles in 8 days (a record for me), needed a complete rest day.

Wednesday:  8
Morning:   After shoveling out my driveway, 10-degree run in the newly fallen snow with FiveK.  Three miles of trails in Champlin (really fun!), followed by snow covered roads in Misquamicut.  By the time we finished up, the temperature had risen all the way to ...  11 degrees!
FiveK coming up the green trail:  awesome fun in the snow

Same scene:  me

First day with the new "Yaktrax Run":
steel carbide studs up front, wire coils in back
Afternoon:  45-minute spin class with FiveK at the Y.

Thursday:  5
Yep, it's cold!
This is winter in RI; time to "man up" and
get out there

No shorts and singlet today!
Back from my beach run, Mark snickered when he saw me
come in and asked, "Are you suicidal?"
Friday: 11
Morning:  8 degrees.  6.5 miles with the 430 Club with the usual suspects in Weekapaug.  Couldn't hang with FiveK and Mike B today; felt like they were really pushing the pace, but in fact it was me that just running much slower when I'm all bundled up.
Afternoon:  4.5 miles. Warmed up to the teens, and I was itching to get back outside.  Headed to Wahaneeta / Woody Hill.  Tough going in the snow, but a lot of fun.

Came across this gem:  a new trail marker (on tree at left) denoting
a new set of trails:  the "Perimeter Trail"

Winter in all its beauty and majesty:
Making virgin tracks in the snow across a frozen stream crossing.
(I'm waiting for the snow-hater and winter-hater comments, but I'll take
this serenity and peacefulness over a 90 degree day any day)
Saturday:  20
Was planning out a solo long run, as the next two weekends I have races.  Got an e-mail from Jonny that he and Muddy were planning a 10-miler in Charlestown, so I opted to get there an hour early to run 8 solo first.  Warm morning (30 degrees) but extremely windy with 30+ mph winds.  Very dark run north of Route 1, on Old Coach Road where I went past Seth's house at 5:30am and should've dragged him out of bed, next up towards Garvin-ville, where apparently he was catching Zs as well, south on Shannock Road and back to Charlestown Beach Road where I met up with Jonny, Muddy, and Mike B for a 6:30 group run.
I thought my body was warmed up after running an hour already, but running Charlestown Beach Road out to the breachway was absolutely brutal, with flying sand and snow stinging my bare legs and face.  Once we turned 180 degrees at breachway and went with the wind, all was good.  Out to Moonstone Beach, and back via Matunuck Schoolhouse Road.  Jonny parted ways, and the three remaining ran 2+ miles local roads, closing out 20.3 miles for me.
We went across the street to a local bakery for hot coffee and a scone, and met and sat with a very inspiring couple:  For Meg's 60th birthday this year, she is doing the PumpkinMan Half Ironman in Maine.  Andrew, 62, will be running the Ocean's Run Half Marathon with us this March and has put in an entry for NYC Marathon this fall.

Sunday:  7
Easy afternoon recovery run from the Y through Pawcatuck, up to Springbrook School and back through the North End.  21 degrees.  Got chastised along the route for wearing shorts in the cold; must've been someone's mother.
Followed up with 900 yards in the pool, and then a rest in the sauna.

Weekly totals:
Run:  60 miles
Bike:  45 minutes of spin
Swim:  2 sessions, 1.0 mile total

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weekly Log 13-Jan to 19-Jan-2014

Race free week!  Hopefully that will equate to getting back to workouts and a long run.

Monday:  9
Usually a rest day for me on Mondays, this Monday I found myself at the Lincoln Y with an hour before Mark's WHS swim meet.  I packed my running clothes and had done some homework online, as well as scouted out Strava segments.  It turns out Lincoln Woods State Park is just down the road, so I headed there and took two segments: a 0.6 mile uphill segment that I ran in 6:20s pace to take the segment from a RI'er that is a follower of Jonny, and next a 2.5 mile loop that I could more comfortably run and take from an out-of-stater (MI).
Nice sight on my run in Lincoln, RI today
Ran fields in Chase Farm Park, originally a farm from early 1800s
How can I pass up an invitation such as this?
The roads in Lincoln Woods State Park were closed to traffic and scenic
Stomping grounds of 3-time Boston Marathoner from RI;
great signage and stone mile markers every 0.5 miles

Tuesday:  9
Morning run:  5.5 miles.  Westerly Hospital loop at 4:30AM with FiveK.  6:56 pace.
Evening workout:  I'm not sure if the local authorities are aware of this, but there is a Torture Chamber inside FiveK's basement.  In all seriousness, Tom in his usual organized manner had a core workout written out, including lunges, squats, "superman", etc.  Couldn't finish all the reps, but really felt it in my abs and back of legs.  I have such a weak core; need to adopt a few of these.
Evening run:  3.5 mile cooldown in the rain from FiveK's house.  6:58 pace.

Wednesday:  16
Morning run:  7 miles solo from the Y through Pawcatuck.  Easy 7:31 pace.
Morning swim:  900 yards freestyle.  First time this year was able to get in a groove.  Proud of myself for getting out there solo.
Evening run:  9 miles total as part of a workout at Hell Field in Weekapaug.  3x800 (2:48, 2:48, 2:48), 3x400 (83, 81, 76), 3x200 (33, 36, 32).

Thursday:  4
Short and easy solo recovery run at sunset.  Misquamicut roads.  8:10 pace.

Friday:  6
4:30 group run with Mike B and FiveK.

Saturday:  21
Morning:  16 miles.  6:30am solo run through Dunn's Corners up to Bradford, 216 South through Charlestown, and Route 1/Shore Road home.  1st long run of the new year; was feeling it on last couple of miles.  When I got out to 216, it started to sleet!  Weird seeing the sleet bounce off my cold legs.  By the time I got home, it had turned to rain.
Afternoon:  5 miles.  Cape Cod Canal paths with Matthew in the pouring rain.  By rights, I had already run enough miles today, but had time to kill waiting for Mark's swim meet to start, so between being in a new place to run plus having Matthew on board, it was a no-brainer to run, weather be damned!

Sunday:  6
20+ mph winds.  Opted for trails for a mid-day run.  Parked at Burlingame Campground; ran much of the Brrr-lingame course.  Ran into Eric Winn out on the trails; he's planning a 50K on Feb 16, from East Beach, North-South Trail, Vin Gormley, Kimball, NST up as far as Burdickville Road, and back.

Weekly accomplishments:
  • 71 total running miles!   That's a PR for me.
  • Ran every day; three of the days with double sessions.  Two 430 Club runs.
  • One running workout.
  • 2 new Strava CRs.
  • 1/2 mile in the pool.
  • Core strength session.


Monday, January 13, 2014

Resolution 5K

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1st in age group.  7th overall out of 133.  19:25 (6:16 pace).  Full results here

Another real fun race by Mike Galoob and company.  Mile plus warm-up with Matthew, enough to get the blood moving (strange phrase, blood doesn’t move otherwise?).  Anyway, the warm-up was also enough to see the two wettest spots on the course:  a puddle smack-dab in the middle of the trail that must have been at least 10’ x 10’, and a series of puddles inside the stone house ruins.  There would be no bypassing either of these.
Geeks and their running watches
at starting line
... and we're off.

Heading down to the turnaround flag.

Mile 1:  First half-mile or so was tough, as it was against the wind and over a very rocky section of beach.  I thought the least Galoob could have done would be to pick up all the rocks pre-race, but he must’ve been slacking off (again).  Switched positions with Muddy, Seth, and Nate a few times, but by the turn-around flag, the dust had pretty much settled:  Muddy, then a Brit and a Turtle, then me in 9th, then Seth and Nate right on my tail.  6:02.
Repassing the starting line, about 1 mile in

Mile 2:  Passed the Turtle (3rd place for Turtles) and overtook the Brit just at beginning of trail as he went a little wide.  Next up were the puddles; straight through them.  Feet felt cold for a few moments again, then fine as we exited briefly onto Ocean Road, and then back into Black Point trails.  On the trails, I could see Muddy ahead of me by at least 10 yards, and I could hear competitors chasing me, especially footfalls on the muddy and wet sections.  6:26.
Crossing into the stone building ruins
Scott Mason caught me just at the right moment!

Obstacles inside the stone building
Great shot by Scott Mason

Mile 3:  Come on ... when is the trail coming to end?  The final mile completes the trail section, and takes us through the ruins of a stone building, where Scott Mason was photographing us running through more puddles.  Here I could hear some splashing right behind me.  Not knowing if it was friend or foe or frenemy, I tried to pick up the pace as I exited onto the beach.  There was no catching Muddy here; he was too far ahead and I'm not even sure I narrowed the gap at all.  Didn't really have too much left and was into the wind, so I tried to just run as efficiently as I could to finish it off.  Crossed the finish line, just barely holding off a much younger :) Seth.  6:18.

Barely holding off Seth at finish
Photo by Jana

Another great WTAC win and showing; 19 strong!  Group cool-down of 7 WTAC runners broke into two groups; Muddy, Matthew, and I trekked on for 2 miles to finish just in time for awards ceremony.  Scored a free entry to a future 4th season trail race - you'll know I'll be using this age group award!
Mud-spattered jersey
(of course Muddy took the opportunity to tell me that if I
needed "to go" that badly, there were porta-jons available)

Finishing up a group cool-down

The gang's all here, well, mostly
Where's Boumenot?
(Photos by Jana)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Weekly Log 6-Jan to 12-Jan-2013

First full week of the new year.  Will have to get my mileage in early to mid-week, as we have Resolution 5K on Sunday.  Some cold weather coming in, but you can't let that stop you.

Monday:  8
4:15AM.  Balmy 49 degrees, although rainy/windy.  Pretty sure I can make a loop around the pond and still catch the morning train; just no dawdling, please.  About 7 minute pace against the wind on Shore Road; 6:40s back on Atlantic Ave.  By the time I reach Weekapaug, you can see sheets of rain moving past in the few places there are street lights.  That's OK; it's all good.  I'm outside and in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt in January.  Weird.

Tuesday:  5
Fast-forward 24 hours:  9 degrees and 25 mph winds.  Brrr!  I was confused as to whether to wear a baclava or a balaclava, but fortunately Chris had already been through that conundrum and straightened us out in a recent blog post, complete with pictures.  Next up I hope he's planning on an updated edition with balaclava instructions and etiquette for breathing, spitting, and snot rockets, because I had trouble with all three in my balaclava today.
With the cold and wind, decided to stay away from the ocean today and ran out along the Pawcatuck River, past Westerly Hospital, and back through Rotary Park.  In Rotary Park, I broke through some snow covered ice that I didn't see and dipped both feet in the drink.  Cold!

Wednesday:  7
Late afternoon run.  21 degrees, return to shorts was welcome for my run.  Moonlight Hills.  Picked it up through the run to finish 6:37 average pace.
Evening spin:  45 minute sweaty workout with FiveK.  Started in earnest on a hard workout to the tune of Aerosmith's "Rag Doll"; I find it helps me to get into it when I can relate to the music or at minimum have some familiarity with it.  Seemed like most of the session was out of the saddle.
Post spin:  Stayed at the Y and watched Mark's WHS swim meet against Cranston East.  Mark has been having some trouble with the rods in his arm, so I was especially happy to see him win the backstroke event outright.  Couldn't stop yawning by 9:30PM (past my bedtime; you know old people go to sleep early).

Thursday:  0
Dead tired in the morning, and worked instead on final editing and posting of refreshed track club website for 2014.  WTAC meeting in the evening.  Couldn't fit anything in.

Friday:  11
3:50AM, 16 degrees, pitch dark outside.  Pull the bed sheets up and go back to sleep?  Nah.  Let's go hit the beach!  Ran through Avondale and Watch Hill; jumped onto the beach at East Beach.  Was concerned how I'd see on the rock-studded dirt trail down to the ocean; but half-of it was floodlit due to the construction at Taylor Swift's estate, and the dark parts I just took real slow.  Running along the ocean was great; the water was placid and I could run right next to the water.

Cars seen:  3 (I ran down the middle of major roads; it was like the course was closed for me).
People on beach:  0 (I know; a shocker there)

Afternoon swim:  900 yards for me, much more for FiveK.  Arms really weak, at least that's my excuse for today.  Elise came in as we were wrapping up.  She gave me some tips that my arms were crossing over too far on each reach, and I needed to work on getting them wider for efficiency.  I'll take every tip I can; fodder to work on for next time.

Saturday:  9
Jonny led FiveK and I on this 6:30AM run from his house.  It was about 46 degrees, yet we still hit some slippery icy areas, especially on the power line trails and surrounding roads near Wood River Junction, known to be one of the coldest spots in RI.  Ran the Grassland Mile clockwise; fortunately Jonny resisted the urge to run this Strava segment fast.  Finished up with a good dose of hills.  Also fun to run in different areas, roads or trails, so thanks Jonny for putting this together!

Sunday: 6
Resolution 5K.  Race report to follow shortly.

Weekly mileage total:  46

Happy with my mileage this past week, as well as getting in both a spin and a swim (thanks FiveK!).  Next race up will be Super 5K in three weeks' time, so I'll look forward to some downtime to get more training and miles in.  Also still need to figure out my spring marathon.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Old Mountain Trail 5K

Saturday, January 4, 2014

4th overall of 66.  1st in age group.  25:15 (8:09 pace on snow covered trails).  Results here.

On a day where temperatures started below 0 degrees Fahrenheit and with 6 inches of fresh snow on the ground, I really didn't know what to expect.  It turns out that as long as you dressed properly and brought along a change of dry clothes and a positive attitude, you could have a great time.  That's exactly what I did.
Fresh tracks in snow at start of race

Mile 1:  Started in the 2nd row with Muddy.  Mass start making fresh tracks across a field.  After a hundred yards or so, you get to the end of the field and a sharp-left turn down an embankment with a foot of snow.  Here a runner fell in front of me and it took me some time to work about him (her?) in the deep snow.  I should have pushed him in the snow, stepped on top of him, and kept going [kidding].  This set me back to 20th place or so at least.  I tried to pick up the pace between here and the next 1/10 mile where you cross over a bridge and turn left into the woods, but it's hard to make progress.  I passed 2-3 more runners and then cut in front of teammate Mark Fuller just before entering the single-track.
Now about 15 runners back, I have my work cut out for me.  I passed teammate Josh, then Sandals and about 3 others before getting to the bridge crossing the stream about 1/2 mile in.  A guy wipes out right in front of me on the icy bridge.  I scoot around him.  From here, I run solo for the rest of the mile, gradual uphill, trying to make gains.

Mile 2:  The terrain is getting hard through here.  It's flatter, but there are lots of places where you can't see rocks under the snow, especially along streams.  I slide in a number of places, and at one point jab my foot pretty good into a rock, but somehow keep upright.  I pass a guy in orange shorts (later identified as a Houston-based friend of Jonny's named Tyson), and then pass Gunshow who gives me a congrats.   From here, I caught up to Muddy and followed him and Seth for a while.  Start of another climb:  short, but tiring.  Muddy signals for me to pass, and I do.  On the hill, Seth also yields for me to pass.
Half-mile to go; feeling good just before final climb

Jonny, Nate, Seth in pursuit

Mile 3: After the top of the rock overview, it's down a rock staircase, a sharp right turn, and a little more climbing.  This is where I pass a guy in a TNT vest, and with Seth in tow, we head past the balanced rock, and enter the twisty-turning trails leading to the parking lot.  I come up on Nate and Jonny, and let them know it's friendly teammates approaching.  I follow for a couple of turns, but I'm feeling strong, and if there's ever a time to try to pass, it's now while I'm going downhill.  I pass Nate and Jonny saying, "Don't worry; you'll pass me back on the uphill".  I try to put some distance on the flat part adjacent to the parking lot, as I know the hill is coming.  I run past Jana taking pictures, and start the hill climb - probably only 30' elevation gain, but I fear it's enough for Jonny to overtake me.  At the switchback and start of the downhill to the field and finish, I see Jonny and crew and am happy with my lead.  I pushed it the rest of the way around the field, and ended up finishing 10 seconds of Nate, with Jonny and Seth right behind.
Trying to help find a path of least resistance for Matthew's finish,
but don't know that there was one

Ran with Matthew for the last half-mile of his race, and then joined the team for a cool-down.  Great day for a great adventure.  On the car ride home, I changed soaking wet socks, took the snow and ice out of my running shoes and off of a clearly purple and swollen toe.  All worth it!  Thanks Mike and entire Galoob family for putting this on.  I am really pleased with my first run of the new year!
A sea of WTAC singlets.
Victory for the team today.

Another shot of the team, with a few additions.
John, Crutch, where is your  team spirit and singlet?
Shira, you're excused, as you're running for two.

Thanks, RD Mike, for hosting.
Man, that guy on right picking up his age group award is OLD.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Weekly Log 30-Dec-2013 to 5-Jan-2014

Happy New Year!  A new year; a new set of goals to get after, including resumption of swimming and cycling.

Monday: 10
Tour of Avondale and Watch Hill. Pushed the pace pretty good for an average 6:42.

Tuesday:  12
New Year's Eve group run in Barn Island.  12 miles, all trails, with Mike B, Jonny, and Nate.  Chilly 16-degree run; had to put the shorts away :(

Wednesday:  5
New Year's Day.  Unplanned progression run with FiveK in the North End:  7:17, 6:36, 6:30, 6:11, 6:00.
Followed up with a 300-yard swim in the Y pool.  Arms sore; I have my work cut out for me.  FiveK kept swimming, while I headed to the sauna:  :)

Thursday: 0
Day off.  1st day taking a break from running in 16 days.

Friday:  7
Triple-workout Friday:
AM:  Snow-shoveling 1.5 hours from Winter Storm "Hercules".  Some spots in driveway bare, and then others with 2-foot drifts.  Felt it in my arms.

Noon:  14-degree run with FiveK and Mike B.  Ran on Weekapaug Sand Trail, where you never knew if your next step was going to be in one inch of snow or one foot.  Tough going.  On the way back, it was brutal running into the wind, especially right at Quonny Breachway where you're totally exposed to the elements.
With Mr "I Hate Winter".  Quick break on our run on Weekapaug
Sand Trail.  (Photo by Tom)

Evening:  45-minute spin class at the Y with FiveK.  Getting back into the saddle was one of the items on my resolution list.  Music was everything from Lady Gaga to even some cool Van Halen.  I want to build up a core base before outdoor biking season starts for me in the spring.  Probably best not to do it on the day before a race (Old Mountain), but I think Old Mountain will be more like a fun run for me, especially given reports of 6" of snow on the trails.

Saturday:  5
Old Mountain 5K.  Just an awesome time in the snow!  Separate write-up forthcoming.

Sunday:  0
A little banged up.  One toe bothering me.  Take a Sunday day off instead of the usual Monday.

Weekly mileage total:  39

Week in review:  Start of the new year.  Really fun week.  Highlights were the OMF 5K, Barn Island group run, and in a strange and perverse way, the Weekapaug Sand Trail group run.  Also great that I actually followed through on starting my 2014 biking and swimming season, although I owe a lot of credit to FiveK on that one.