Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Weekly Log 5-May to 11-May-2014: Recovery Week #3

Purported penultimate week of surgery recovery.  Goals for this week include getting back up to 40+ running miles, dropping the pace to 7 flat by end of week, and taking another shot at getting back in the saddle.  All right, let's get at it!

Monday:  13!
Noon:  [8] A good cure for a Monday is a good trail run.  (I know Mike B agrees, as he's even taking to the trails lately.  What's up with that?  Anyway...)
Found myself at home on Monday (long story short:  Mark's post-surgery follow-up went well, so he'll be back to track shortly).  For lunch, ate up eight miles of Woody Hill.  Rewatched 60s classic "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" last week with Matthew, so here's my take for this trail run:
  • The good:  Westerly voters passed the referendum to add 433 acres of open space to the mix, so I've got plenty of exploring to do.  My mind is racing with trail ideas.  Been in touch with some of the Westerly Land Trust on their own ideas.   Might go trail running with WLT president Sheilia next week.
  • The bad:  Narragansett Indians have asked runners to stay off their 130+ acres of land, south of Wahaneeta exiting via blue trail; a new stone wall has been built across the trail.
  • The ugly:  
    Beth, the competition is back on!  Yeah, maybe I should stay ON the trails.
Afternoon:  [5] WMS track coach asked me to lead the team's distance runners on a long run.  This time he assigned TWELVE runners to me.  I asked him if they're always this noisy, and if I can drop the pace on them to quiet them down.  He smiled, and said, "You can try!".
Getting 12 runners of varying speeds across major road intersections was a trip, but I got it done.  Kids liked the weird things I added to the run, including running up stairs between buildings downtown, running through a cemetery, and surprisingly telephone repeats on a quiet road (that was the only thing that quieted them down!).  Highlight for me:  a new 6th grade runner coming up to me afterwards, saying that was really fun and could we do it again?!  Also, back home, Matthew telling me that was his best group run ever!

Tuesday:  5
Return of the 430 Club!  I know Crutch will be excited to hear this and looking to get in on future 430 Club meetings.  FiveK met me at my house in the dark for my hospital loop.  I had to put a governor on his accelerator and hold him to 7:30 pace.  First time I was back running with any of the crew in 3 weeks.  Good stuff!

Wednesday:  Run 4, Walk 3
The low mileage here belies that I got a lot done and laid the groundwork for future running.  Greg's "time on feet" indicator may have been a better metric, as all told I think I spent five hours in the woods today:

Morning trail scouting:  Had an hour before meeting up with the Y.  Exploring northwest Woody Hill, I was walking/running abandoned trails now overgrown with briars and what looked like cleared paths to get a vehicle in years back for perc tests and lot planning for new home construction (which fortunately will never happen now - thank you voters of Westerly!).  Was able to cobble together a rough route, and left a few "breadcrumbs" for myself.

Morning race planning:  From Camp Watchaug, finalized the 2014 BRR course (wheel-measure 3.12 miles, GPS 3.07).  It'll be interesting as it starts and ends at the waterfront, reduces the logjam trail start, cuts down asphalt from 1.2 miles to 0.4 (it's a TRAIL run, Mike B!), and adds more single-track.  There is interest to expand the trail portion for 2015, but this year we didn't have enough time to get a needed permit.

Afternoon trail-building:   Armed with a bow saw and pruning shears, returned to this morning's breadcrumbs and started to lay waste to briars and downed branches.  Spent two hours making a runable trail (it will need iterations of running over it).  Finished with a short run on the trail with my first victim.

Back home over dinner, I start to regale my family with tales of my day's adventures in the woods, when it becomes immediately clear that no one has any interest in being bored to death.  Switching tactics, I change to my guessing game, and in a dramatic voice, something like: "I was all alone running deep in the woods where seldom do any humans ever set foot, when all of a sudden I heard a loud 'HEY!' and I turn to find ... guess who?"

  • Jana:  "Was it a caveman?"  (was that a subtle hint that I'm spending too much time in the woods?)
  • Mark:  "Was it Jesus?"  (how did I get such a sarcastic family?)
  • Matthew, ever the conservative, required 17 hints before affording a guess.  Meanwhile, Jana apparently lost her patience waiting for her turn again, and correctly identified Muddy.

Thursday:  0
Planned rest day.

Friday:  13
Trails Part I:  [8] Met up with Westerly Land Trust President Sheilia and her two dogs for a tour of Wahaneeta and Woody Hill.  She showed me a number of historical features in Woody that I've run right past and never seen (historical cemeteries, wells, house foundations), as well as planned trails to loop back to Wahaneeta.  She had already found my "Swamp Bypass Trail" that I built last fall, and I showed her the trail I've been clearing recently connecting Fern Drive to Bradford Preserve with the Woody cut-through.   The Land Trust, its people, and their values are all awesome.
Bestowed upon me by the Land Trust for my various trail-clearing efforts,
especially on their properties.  Purportedly requires one calendar year of
duration.  I clearly don't put in a fraction of the time that their volunteer
"CCC" team does (emblazoned on back of hat), but I was happy to add value.
Trails Part II:  [5] Got back to my car to see a text from FiveK, so we hit the trails in Champlin in the rain before he caught a rescheduled flight to visit the land of Dorothy, Toto, and Auntie Em.

Saturday:  15!!
That's not a typo, and it's not missing a decimal place between the "1" and the "5".  Longest, hardest, and funnest (author's writing liberty to make up words) run by far since going under the knife.  And it felt really good!  Well, for the first 12 miles or so anyway, until I fatigued and starting falling.

Met up in B-game at 6am with a large running group (Muddy, Jonny, Action, Galoob, and B).  Right off the bat our newly minted Masters champ made a veiled derogatory comment something about his competitor in a recent race being 47 years old and should've hung up his running shoes years ago.  Ouch!  I expect that stuff from the other Mike that was out there.  Anyway, this 49 year old geezer is far from ready to hang up his running shoes.  Au contraire; I think I was the biggest kid out there on the trails today as I was jumping off rocks, through bushes, and giddily splashing through puddles, mud, and plowing right through river crossings instead of gingerly crossing on rocks or logs.  YOLO, accordingly to Jonny.  The original plan was for me to wimp out at 8-12 miles and bail, but I was having such a blast and feeling good that I kept it going.  Gazelling a few downhills with Galoob and pushing it on twisty single-track especially on Sammy C and Secret was exhilarating.

Sunday:  Bike 10, Run 2+
Went out with Matthew for my first brick of the season.  Got through it fine.  No pain, just fatigue.  Two miles out instantly flatted.  Got through changing the tube when I found the only cartridge I had was already spent.  Way to go, moron.  Called Jana to bring a pump; not home.  Fortunately, a peloton of Mystic Velo riders blew past us (Shore Road in Weekapaug) and one kindly dropped from the group to help.  He carried tools, cartridges, a pump, and who knows what else and was incredibly helpful, knowledgeable, and fast.

Weekly mileage totals:
Run:  52!
Bike:  10
Swim:  won't be happening this week

Week recap:
Met two out of the three goals for the week:  Got back into the saddle again, and destroyed my 40 mile weekly goal by running 52 miles!  Didn't get my 7-minute pace goal only because I didn't try because I was having too much fun running trails.  The endurance is coming back, although my legs were sore and I was winded the rest of the day Saturday.  I'll keep whittling away, and now just one more week before I can start to weave in some form of speedwork.


  1. Oh goodie! I've been trying to not get all banged up, just to keep things even!!! I have some off trail bruises on my shins and knees, so now those count?? Hmmm... Sounds like a great group run with the Middle School kids!!

    1. And the week got even better!! Some one ought to school Galoob in the stamina of us old folks!! LOL!!

  2. Galoob is old too. 40! Don't let him fool you.