Monday, September 29, 2014

Weekly Log 22-Sep to 28-Sep-2014: Vacation End

As my 4-week work hiatus comes to an end, it's time to turn the calendar to Fall.  Next up:  Hartford Marathon (photo above is after I just finished the 2012 Hartford Marathon [3:12]).

Monday:  0
Complete rest day after Pisgah.

Tuesday:  13
- Morning 8 mile 'round the pond run.
- Late morning Westerly Land Trust volunteering.  My assignment today was to clear the entire red trail in Riverwood.  It was fairly overgrown, but should be quite clear now.  Got kudos from WLT.  Any complaints? - Grab your shears and trimmer.
- Afternoon 5 mile Misquamicut run.

Wednesday: 13
- Morning 8 miles out to Watch Hill on roads, and back on the beach.  Awesome weather now with the humidity down.
- Afternoon 5 miles barefoot on the beach at low tide.  One of my favorite runs.

Thursday: 10
Started in the rain; ended up windy but drier.  7:30s pace.

Friday: 16
Running trifecta, plus some kayaking:
- 6 mile morning hospital run.
- Afternoon kayaking from Barn Island.
Tommy and his Dad Steve set me up well with kayak
and roof connectors.  I think Steve should open a business
out of his house renting out his sons' recreational
equipment:  kayaks, bikes, convertible sports cars,
who knows what else is there.  Could be lucrative.

Paddling into Sandy Point
for a quick break and

... and back to Barn Island.  Awesome day, thanks much
to Tom for use of his kayak.

- 5 mile Barn Island run.  As long as I'm already there, it's one of my favorite places.
- 5 mile evening beach run to round out the day.  People grilling on the beach in warm weather.

Saturday:  4
Morning went to watch Matthew at Ocean State X-C Invitational in Goddard Park, Warwick.  He ran a 5:48 pace to take 5th of 159 and 1st Rhode Islander in the freshman race.

Afternoon went with Jana to run Grills.  Highlight was on the way back we spied a 3' long black snake crossing the trail.  I tried to take a picture, but the snake was too quick.  (Jana's scream didn't help.)  Wish Mike B the snake-lover had been there.

Sunday:  5
- Morning 29 mile bike ride with Mike B.  Really warm late September weather.  Coastal ride through Westerly and Charlestown, before a stop at Dave's Coffee.
- Afternoon barefoot low-tide beach run.  Just can't get enough of these, as I know the season is sunsetting.  Beach was actually packed in places, especially Misquamicut, with temps in the mid-70s.  Took a dip after the run.  Water was so warm; didn't want to get out.  Perfect ending to the weekend.

Weekly mileage totals:
Run: 61
Bike:  29

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Pisgah 23K Recap

Chesterfield, NH
Sunday, September 21, 2014

Had considered this race for a few years, but it conflicted annually with the Surftown Half Marathon, a race in my "backyard" that I aspire to always run.  Fast forward to 2014:  they're on different weekends!  I'll miss the OCY Tri, but that's OK, I can run that any year so let's go ahead and run Pisgah for something different.

A morning race in NH meant an overnight there, and I was treated to a weekend of Hammett hospitality.  Jonny picked Crutch and I up and drove us round-trip and everywhere in-between.  John a/k/a Pard and his wife Sue hosted us at their awesome ski chalet style home in NH for an overnight stay.  Glenn provided inspiration along the course, and Greg and his wife Jen hosted a party with food and drink post-race and offered showers at their house.  Awesome!

We got up to Keene on Saturday in time for dinner with Greg, Jen, and Boj.  Dinner at a brew pub in an old mill complex was replete with good food, laughter, and of course running talk.  By 9pm at Pard's place, I was falling asleep.  Crutch actually flipped a coin in which I bid for the basement bedroom.  I lost the bet, got the 1st floor bedroom, and was just happy to go to bed.  Woke up a couple of times during the night, but otherwise slept very well.  A stop at DD and off to the race.
Surveying the trail pre-race with Jonny and Crutch
(the latter taking this photo)

The early miles:  Warmed up for just a mile with Greg, Jonny, and their friend Clint.  After a few words from the RD, we were off.  This race could have also been called the "Misty Mountain Hop" (Led Zep) as it was a misting and foggy as we bounded from mountain to mountain.  My spacewatch recorded a balmy 64 degrees.  I kept Greg and Jonny and the lead group in sight only for about a mile.  A sharp downhill on roads was followed by two good uphills.  On the first uphill, I was running next to Clint when I noticed I was breathing much harder than folks around me and took that as a sign to back off and conserve as Clint surged ahead of me.  Towards the end of the second mile you leave the roads and enter the park trails.  It was here that I got some encouragement from spectator Glenn.  The entrance is via a screaming descent on double-track.  I passed two runners here plus Clint, and at the bottom unfortunately the two runners veered left onto the 50K course and it was now just Clint and I, as he passed me to take the lead. Fortunately, he took a sharp right onto the course turn, which I might have missed.  I re-passed him on an uphill section, and then I ran as an island for the next three plus miles.

The middle miles:  The downside to running alone is there is no one to push you, so I run less fast than I could have.  The upside to running alone is there is no one to push you, so I could lay back a bit and enjoy the run.  I ignored water at the unmanned stations, but took water at the first aid station to wash down my GU.  No one in sight or sound range ahead or behind me.  Thanked the volunteers staffing the station, and on my way.  400' of near continuous climbing ensued.  There were two or three steep sections here that I opted to power-hike.  At each intersection, not familiar with the course and generally not having directional arrows, I had to slow a bit to see which trail branch had the pink streamers.  I did fairly well at this until a fork at a summit, where I turned right (the wrong way) and went down a rocky scramble to a rock overlook.  Which way now?  Left?  Right?  Wait for runners?  Back uphill, and then I realized the error of my ways.  Only lost a minute or so, but it was enough for the next two runners (lead female and a guy) to catch up to me.  Jumped in ahead of them, and could hear them behind me the downhill stretch into aid station #2.  I must have dallied too long scarfing down fig newtons, as the lead woman came in right behind me, got a quick drink, and took off ahead of me.  Time to go ...

The final miles:  Was prepared for the hills after the 2nd aid station, as Jonny had forewarned me, but ran all of these, maybe because I already knew these were coming or maybe because I had two runners on my tail now.  I could hear the two of them all throughout the climbs (when would these end?!), but once I got into the 1.5 miles of steep descents, I had put enough distance on them that I lost them again.  Was momentarily confused coming out of the trail onto the dirt road as to which way to go, but figured it out after trying a couple of ways.  Pushed it on the roads back.  Even "Killer Hill" didn't seem bad, again probably due to Jonny's prep and actually driving this hill.  Rounded the final corner and finished 7th on the day in 1:51.
The results:
Greg 1st in 1:36:07
Jonny 3rd in 1:40:32
me 7th in 1:51:09
(I'd post a link to electronic results, but I can't find them)
Resting my spent legs while getting some lunch
with Jonny at the finishing line
(Photo by Crutch)

I'm not sure which was harder:  the race itself, or the next 5 mainly road miles that Jonny and I stubbornly ran to get 20 on the day as marathon training on tired legs.  Greg had warned us that everywhichway was downhill, and so it was.  Even the downhills hurt by now.  Finished up catching up with folks, getting some food and drink before a stop at Greg's place.  I got to meet Griffin - must confess that for the longest time I just assumed reading Greg's blog that Griffin was a human running friend of his.  Rode back to RI, as I struggled to stay awake in the back of Jonny's car.  Great weekend and running; thanks again to the whole Hammett clan for all the hospitality shown!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Weekly Log 15-Sep to 21-Sep-2014: NH bound

I had better get my weekly blog posted, before Beth gets on my case.  (She's like that, you know; let's just hope she gives ample grief to other runners, like those Boumenot and Weller types she sees frequently.)

But first, a carry-over from last week's beach race:
Love this photo collage from the Westerly Sun,
not because I won (the tide will change in Matthew's favor soon enough),
but because it's a father-son combo.

Monday:  0
Rest day.

Tuesday:  0
0 run that is; but I did have a 30-mile ride in the dark, out to Mystic flag pole and back.  Something new for me, but how could I pass up an invite from a soon-to-be colleague to go out for a ride?

Followed up the ride with volunteering with the Westerly Land Trust on their regular Tuesday morning detail.  Today's job was clearing the Grills yellow trail.  A big tree blown down and hanging across the trail took a while for two of us with chainsaws to clear.  After that, mostly pruning over-hanging branches.

Wednesday:  9+
The 9+ miles doesn't really tell the story, but the 4,000+ feet of elevation gain (yes, seriously!) does paint a better picture.  During my unemployment time, I want to make the most of it and one item on my list was to run/hike the tallest peak in New England.  Now I can scratch that off (although it only whetted my appetite for more such adventures).

Followed the weather forecasts closely, and picked the weekday the most feasible.  The day before it snowed 0.7"; the following day was forecast to drop to 17 degrees.  Drove half-way up on Tuesday evening and stayed at a fleabag motel in Manchester.  Now I remember why I don't stay in fleabag motels:  sketchy locales, dirty corridors and rooms, disconcerting smells. Out the door by 4am, I found a Dunkin closed and an adjacent McDonald's open 24 hours.  A cheese and egg bagel and an OJ seemed innocuous enough.  Now I remember why I don't eat at McDonald's:  bagel tasted terrible, and some odd sauce leaked out and onto my shorts, and the OJ was tasteless and obviously from concentrate.
Today's chosen route

Start of the trail was
the most runnable;
my strategy was to hike the
steep parts and run the rest
(able to run about 60-70%
going up; about 99% down)

Still quite runnable,
just a bit slower watching
the footsteps carefully

Having consulted my brother Kurt on solo hiking in the White Mountains, he suggested I avoid the Tuckerman Ravine trail alone, so I found another trailhead where I could make a loop, just 1/2 mile below the Cog Railway station.  Got underway just before 7am.  37 degrees at the start.  The grade for the first two miles averaged 9%, and I could get into a rhythm running the trail.  Ran past a group of 4 hikers speaking Russian early on; they pulled over to let me by, but I couldn't think of the Russian word for "thank you" until well past them.

Appropriately named "Gem Pool" at
Mile 2.1.  After this, the 3rd mile
averaged a 30% climb, which
meant almost no opportunity for
me to run.

Lake of the Clouds Hut - Mile 3.1
(Had originally planned to overnight here, but timing just didn't work out)

 Just as I got above treeline, the Lake of the Clouds Hut came in to view.  I went in the main door to take a break and check out the cabin.  Overnight hikers had just finished their breakfast, and were getting dressed to go out for a hike in the 31-degree weather.  They were putting on heavy winter parkas, hats, thick ski gloves, gaiters over their long hiking pants, etc., and gave me some strange looks as I strolled in wearing ... you got it... shorts and a short-sleeve tech shirt.  "Are you OK?" and "Where did you come from?" were questions asked.  I explained where I started from, but they seemed dubious as they said that was a 3 1/2 hour hike and I would have had to start at 4:30am in the dark.  When I showed them my elapsed time of 61 minutes, they believed me and one said "3 1/2 hours is for normal people" - I think that was a compliment?

After a 15-minute break at the hut, it was time for the final
1.4 mile ascent to the summit.  Had to stop a number of times
to try to make out the next cairn in the thick fog.
With an average 18% grade, I could resume running, but at a very
slow pace.  (Disclosure:  continuously jumping from rock-to-rock
constitutes "running" for my purposes)
 The best quote of the day came during this final ascent, when I ran uphill on the rocks passing two hikers.  One hiker said to the other, "Rich, if you want to call yourself a man, you'll get behind this guy (gesturing to me) and follow right behind him all the way to the summit!".  I chuckled.  Rich didn't.

Proof - I made it!  Just as the fog was dissipating and it started to warm up.

Hung around the summit for a while, and then time to head back (picked a different descent to mix it up)
By now, the sun was full out and the scenery was just gorgeous!

One of the best parts:
I was already on my way down before the first tourists
would arrive on the Cog and Auto Road
 Thursday:  13
- AM 10 mile loop from Mom's house in Richmond.  Happy to mix it up with a different route than usual on nice country roads, but boy are my legs sore!   Can't imagine why.
- PM 3-mile easy beach run.  Legs are still sore, but I can't pass up a run on the beach and jump in the ocean on such a beautiful sunny warm day.

Friday:  0
Complete shut down.  Legs really sore.

Saturday:  6
Easy paced local road and beach shake-out.  Highlight was a "feel good" moment stopping to help an elderly couple (no, it wasn't the Boumenots) with directions.  Close second was moon jellies on the beach.

Sunday:  Pisgah 23K.  Write-up to follow shortly.

Mileage totals:
Run:  48
Bike:  30

Monday, September 15, 2014

Surftown Half Marathon 2014


Misquamicut, Sunday, November 14, 2014

I've run Surftown every year since inception in 2011, and will probably run this race in my "backyard" as long as I'm able to.  Let's take a look at my results to date:
Year Time Pace Place
2011 1:25:29 6:32   23/818
2012 1:22:31 6:18   15/1261
2013 1:21:28 6:14   6/1614
2014 1:20:47 6:10   4/1559

Yes, every year, including this year, has been faster than the previous.  Am I actually getting faster in my old age?  Or, as Mike B would suggest, am I just finding more places to play "Rosie Ruiz" and cut the course short?  :)

My PR going into this race was actually from earlier this year:  1:21:16 at Ocean's Run.  That was the goal I was going after.  No "B" goal or "C" goal this time; just get out there and do it.

Miles 1 - 5:  Knowing that the middle miles are always the place where I slow the most, my strategy here was to run very close to 6 flat.  Within a mile, the dust had settled and the eventual winner (a very fast woman - yes, I got chicked, I'll just throw that out there now as several have already commented) was way out front and three guys were ahead of me.  After the Weekapaug bridge, I lost sight of the lead woman and lead man, and kept the next two guys ahead of me in my sight.  Being cheered on by Bousquet family oceanside at Mile 3 was inspiring.  On the downhill on Chapman (coming into Mile 4), I reeled in and passed one of the guys and was just ahead of him as I heard Steve cheering me on!  Unfortunately, back on Atlantic Avenue, he passed me back. 
Splits:  6:04, 6:02, 6:03, 6:08, 6:03
A few strides with Matthew
just before the start
(Mike B, note we're proudly displaying our club colors)

Seconds into the race
(Matthew just behind me; some guy ahead of me in cargo shorts and a black cotton shirt
sprinting about to pass the race leaders! - Yeah, he lasted for about 1/4 mile)
Photo by Jana

Mile 3 - Weekapaug
(photo courtesy of Tom)

Miles 6 - 10:  Heading back through Misquamicut now, there was a lot of crowd support and I heard my name called frequently.  It was hugely motivating, and I believe a factor in me catching and passing the runner ahead of me, again.  Was able to hold a fast pace for more two more miles before hitting the long slow miles leading into Watch Hill. 
Splits:  6:03, 6:03, 6:21 (ugh!), 6:11, 6:12

Mile 6 - Misquamicut, opening the distance on the guy I passed for the 2nd time
(photo by Jana)
Mile 8 - Fisherman Ave
(photo courtesy of Beth)

Miles 11 - 13:  Up and over the "Ocean House Bump" (50' hill) as I heard a Westerly Sun photographer call my name.  Then started the return to finish via Ocean View Highway, into a slight but manageable breeze.  I was feeling pretty good and able to return the pace to low 6s.  Twice along the return, I asked spectators I knew to let me know how far the next runner was behind me, as I was fearful he'd try to pass me again.  The first answer was about 200 yards; ok - pick up the pace, and the final answer with a mile to go was "not in sight". Yes!  Finished the race with a big smile on my face:  4th overall, 3rd overall male, and another PR!
Splits:  6:07, 6:05, 6-flat.
Mile 11 - Climbing the hill to the Ocean House,
with Watch Hill Harbor in background
(photo by Westerly Sun, Christine Corrigan)

Finishing with a PR and a smile!
(Photo by Jana, always there to catch great race moments)

Shortly after finishing, watched many more WTAC finishers:  Matthew - 1:26:14 (division winner and PR!), Mike B - 1:28:47, Shara - 1:30:21 (4th overall female), Crutch, Lynne R-P, Paul G, Denise, and a number of others.  A really fun day with great running conditions right here in my hometown.

The gang is mostly all here (where did Shara go?)
Denise, we have to get you a WTAC singlet.
Anybody know that guy in the red shirt or what club he is running for?

Matthew and I with our hard-earned loot for the day.
Is Matthew getting taller, or am I shrinking, or both?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Weekly Log 8-Sep to 14-Sep-2014

Once again, my blog postings have become quite delayed, despite my new-found life of leisure.  Thanks, Beth, for the less than subtle reminder!

OK, coming into the Surftown week now, perhaps I should run a bit less than the 102 miles I put in last week.  Not because I'm feeling any ailments, fortunately, just good sense to taper a bit.

Monday:  0
Complete rest day.

Tuesday:  11
- 6 mile AM run sans humidity through Moonlight / Urso hills.
- 5 mile PM run in Narragansett before Mark's game.  Ran the Crooked Brook Trail off Kenny Ave (Blessing course) and then along the seawall past the Coast Guard house.  I always like running in different locales.

Wednesday:  14
- 9 mile AM workout at CCMS track with Jonny and Galoob.  I do almost no speedwork.  It's "good" for you, right?  Today's workout was 8 x 800 at a target goal for me of 2:50.  Not exactly, but not too far off:  2:50, 2:59, 2:55, 2:53, 2:50, 2:52, 2:57, 2:51 .  Was really tired by the 7th; the 8th and final was just a hold on and finish effort.
- 5 mile midday beach run with Crutch.

Thursday:  9
Solo run in Wahaneeta and Woody Hill.  One of my favorite places.  I know the area quite well now, it's close to home, and at possibly the largest tract of land in Westerly, I just love the solitude you can find.
Happy New Toy -
may you see many trail runs

The "Gazelle Path" through
south part of Woody Hill may
need some clearing -
you can see the trail through
here, right?

Mankind at its worst -
Visitors to the stone fort had been keeping the place clean, but
obviously the last visitors thought they were above this

Woody Hill Pond at about the lowest I've seen it
(photo taken from a spot usually underwater)

Friday:  4

Start of the 2014 Charlie Stravros Beach Run
(photo by Jana)

I think this strategic "lean"
around the cone saved me a
valuable 0.001 miles over the
course and shaved entire fractions
of a second off my time

Coming in for the turn-around in Weekapaug,
just seconds ahead of Matthew
(photo by Beth - thanks!)

In my element - finishing up on the beach with a smile
17:26 - full results here
(photo by Jana)

Post - race pizza and goodies on the pavilion

Beautiful sunset over Atlantic Ave
caps out a great night and summer run series

Saturday:  5
In a senior moment, about a mile into my run I was wondering why my watched hadn't vibrated, until I looked at it and saw I never pressed "Start".  Well, that might have something to do with it!

The "Shovel Tree" on
Fun Run course
Running in Misquamicut along Maplewood Ave, I passed the shovel tree, where I have always wanted to talk to whoever puts it up each year.  Does that mean I'm becoming less introverted in my senior years?  Anyway, a man is in the yard, and I approach him and ask if he's the owner (so many in this area are just seasonal renters).  We get talking.  It turns out the owner is a former runner, and starts asking me about my pace and races.  He said he's seen our Fun Runs go past his house, and misses his running days.  Interesting trivia is that all the shovels and pails on the tree were all what he collected on the beach as discarded - what a great 2nd home for them!

Sunday:  17
Surftown Half Marathon.  Separate race report coming shortly.

Weekly mileage totals:
Run:  60

60 previously would have been a very high mileage week.  I guess it probably still is overall, but seemed much lighter after last week's triple-digit week.  Anyhow, Surftown is down, Pisgah is up next week, and that will make 3 weeks out to Hartford.  Let's hope this cooler less humid weather prevails!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Weekly Log 1-Sep to 7-Sep-2014: No work, and all play!

Being out of work now, I guess I have no excuse not to keep my blog up to date, and spruced up, so here goes.

Big race decisions to make this week:  1) should I run Pisgah, and if so, what distance, and 2) should I run Boston 2015 (registration opens Monday for those who beat their qualifying time by 20+ minutes).

Monday:  14
Labor Day.  Matthew planned out a route into Weekapaug, 5 miles on the beach up to Watch Hill, and back on roads.  Jonny Eckel joined us as well.  Good Surftown training for Matthew.

Tuesday:  13
I don't know which was weirder:  last Friday leaving Fidelity for the final time, or this morning when everyone had somewhere to go but me (Jana off to work at the Y, and the boys off to school).  Trying to stay busy and productive, I signed up with the Westerly Land Trust's Coffee & Clearing Crew to work the morning at Wahaneeta.  Some folks were working on cabin repairs; I was on a trail maintenance crew.  They gave me a huge weed whacker, except where my personal one has plastic filament, this one has spinning steel blades.  Cool and dangerous at the same time!
- 5.5 miles running on trails in Wahaneeta and Woody before my volunteer work.
- 7.5 miles running on the beach afterwards.  Very hot; multiple dips in the ocean at end of run.

Wednesday:  21
- 14 mile solo run out Weekapaug Sand Trail to Quonnie Breachway in Charlestown, back along the beach as far as Misquamicut before turning home.  Was glad the water fountains still turned on in Weekapaug and Misquamicut, as it was another hot day.  About 6 miles total running on the beach at low tide.  Loved it!
- 7 miles with Crutch in Grills.  He came over to take care of some WTAC membership business and pick up his new WTAC garb.  Started on the Westerly side at Bradford, but ended up running most of the time on Hopkinton Land Trust portion.  Got some good hills in there.  Got sidetracked a few times on an unmarked trail along the river, but made it out just fine.

Thursday:  16
- 11 mile solo run in Barn Island.  Ran the trails I know and love.
Welcome to another trail season!
(I know you guys just love these pics!)
So who is going to vie with me this year for
the blood and mud awards?  Beth?

- 22 mile ride.  After coming home and making some job search calls, the house was still empty, so decided to go out for a mid-day ride to Quonnie.  On the way back, stopped in at Dave's Coffee and had a good chat with the owner about upcoming Li'l Rhody (he ran it last year).
Central Beach, Quonochontaug
Along today's ride.  Yeah, I'm really missing the concrete jungles of Boston.

- 5 miler run.  Late afternoon after a few more job search related items taken care of, the beautiful sunny day was calling me to the beach.  Ran 5 miles from Town Beach, barefoot through the waves.  Great fun.  Not as fun a day as Mike B was having at work, but still great fun.  Finished up with a dive into the ocean and hanging out until I had cooled off.  What a day!

Friday:  12
- 9.5 mile morning run in Arcadia w/Crutch.  He was nice enough to drive and plan out the route.  I was a cheap date and got away with just providing drinks.  I don't know the trails at all, but it was a nice mix of soft pine needle cover, some double track surface roads, and a number of tiring climbs in the increasing heat and humidity, including Penny Hill.  The highlight of the run:  with about a mile to go, we stopped and submerged in a small swimming hole in a running river.  Awesomeness!
This swimming hole really hit the spot!
(Photo by Crutch)
- 2.5 mile afternoon wind-down from WHS, while waiting for Matthew's X-C practice to finish.

Saturday:  17
Brutally oppressive humidity on this run with Mike B.  Ran from the Y on the Boombridge loop, except Mike had a Juniper Drive memory reunion loop added on for us.  By this point, we were both soaked and dripping wet.  Fortunately he had a $5 spot, which we redeemed at an Ashaway gas station for Gatorade.  Drank the 20 oz and kept on trucking.  May I add that the Potter Hill climb is especially enjoyable in the heat and humidity?  Highly suggest it.
Refueled at the Y and added a few more miles of suffering before calling it a day and heading north to Burrillville for this gem:

Matthew (in white / navy blue) sandwiched between Hendricken runners at
his first ever high school X-C meet:
RI Injury Fund, 4.1K Freshman Race
(8th out of 189 runners here about midway)

Apparently he said good-bye to the Hendricken runners along the way,
as he's coming into the finish to place 3rd statewide
14:48, average 5:49 pace
Results here

Sunday:  10
Tried to push the pace a little faster on this one (average 6:41).  For some reason, though, my legs weren't feeling very fresh.  Nice that the humidity is finally starting to go away.

Weekly mileage totals:
Run:  102!!  (by far my biggest mileage week ever; previously 81)
Ride:  22

Monday, September 1, 2014

Weekly Log 25-Aug to 31-Aug-2014: including Schonning 5K

Monday:  zilch

Tuesday:  3
Afternoon barefoot run circumnavigating Napatree peninsula.  Beth is much smarter than me and knew that the point is all rocks; I did not know or not remember this and paid the price skipping amongst the rocks.  The run back ocean-side was amesome.

Wednesday:  8
Back to school run.  Easy pace around the pond with a tiny bit on the beach.

Thursday:  3
Easy early morning loop.

Friday:  5 - Schonning 5K
Will miss the pacifying view from my
desk of Boston Harbor
Stepping off Amtrak (Kingston)
 from my final Fidelity commute. 
Weird feeling.
Started off the day with a mix of emotions, as today was my last day of my 13-year career at Fidelity, having declined to move with my job to North Carolina the previous fall and having exhausted my extensions.

Schonning 5K:  `Good WTAC showing for the 17th running of this event, but missing the usual cohorts of Puddin', Critchlery, and a Hammett contingency.  Warmed up with FiveK, Shara, B, Matthew, and Chris Garvey Garwin Garcia Garmin (what is that guy's last name, anyway, and why is it so often misspelled?).
Start of the 2014 Schonning 5K
 Took the start and was thrilled SNERRO started at the right line this year!  Chris took off with FiveK in tow.  I was in a distant third with two teens (JT and Matthew) nipping at my heels.  JT caught up with me at Mile 1 finish (5:39) and ran even with me for a little while before passing me early in Mile 2.  I could hear Matthew right behind me next.  Saw Chris and Tommy at the turn-around (they really should do away with this), and then the next 5-6 people or so behind me. 

I passed through Mile 2 in a pedestrian 6:07.  Despite the slow-down, I was gaining on JT and soon running next to him again.  After the race, JT would tell me he was envisioning that he would be running close to me on the final finish and then try to out-kick me at the end.  I smiled, told him I was fearful of that, and here about Mile 2.5 I sped up the pace to maybe 5:30s to see if he would hang.  He dropped enough that I could continue the fast pace and despite whatever sprint/kick he had, I finished a good ten seconds ahead of him.

Final steps before the finish
Chris had an awesome run breaking the course record in 16:21.  While I saw the 17's ticking away on the clock, I was still only feeling maybe 90% from Rhode Warrior and was happy with an 18:05.  My days finishing ahead of JT and Matthew are numbered.

Final results:  18:05, 5:49 pace.  3rd of 131 finishers. 1st in age group. Full results here.

Saturday:  21 (20.5 actually, to give credit to Mike B running circles 'round Y lot to get full 21)
Mike B planned this one out from the Y with a loop through Greenhaven and back, and then a loop down to Misquamicut and back.  Despite the Rhode Warrior 6 days earlier and a race just 12 hours earlier, I was feeling energetic and good on this run.  Congrats to Shara, Mike B, and I think FiveK for running their longest runs ever, and thanks to Chris for coming along for the second half of the run and providing extra morale. 

Sunday:  5
Biked 35 in the morning with Chris and Mike B.  Chris had a great route picked out for on roads I had never ridden through Exeter and possibly NK.  A stop at a coffee shop in Peace Dale hit the spot, as did cinnamon coffee rolls Katie had waiting for us upon our return.

Afternoon trail run with Matthew at Grills course.  Very humid.  Hopefully he gets a cooler drier day for his first high school race there in two weeks.

Weekly totals:
Run:  45
Bike:  35

Thus endeth August.  Even with time off with my hernia surgery in the spring, I am about 190 miles ahead of my 2,000 mile 2014 target (on a pro-rated basis).  Surftown in 2 weeks, followed by a final long run that I need to figure out, and Hartford in 6 weeks.