Sunday, March 29, 2015

Weekly Log 23-Mar to 29-Mar

5 miles.  Champlin trails.

8 miles.  Around the pond.  Worked in 10 * 1-minute fast runs, broken up by 30 second recoveries

6 miles.  Needham streets, plus running on top of crunchy snow at golf course.  Passing bikers told me I was making them feel cold (in shorts and a shirt at 25 degrees) but I know riding makes you feel much colder than running (given same temp and clothes worn).

7 miles.  Pouring cold rain, about 35 degrees.  Very cold by the time I finished up.  Reminded me of running Hartford Marathon last fall.

6 miles.  First of three consecutive days on the Burlingame course.  Light rain.

7 miles.  Bowed out of running with the guys early morning from the Y in the dark cold rain.  Volunteered to help Mike G mark the course.  Out there for about 3 hours in rain, sleet, and snow, but still enjoyed it.  Cold finishing up.

14 miles.  Brrr-lingame.  Write-up to follow.

Weekly Mileage Log:
53 miles.  Not bad.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Weekly Log 16-Mar to 22-Mar-2015: Spring has Sprung

End of winter / beginning of spring thoughts:
  1. Why did I sign up for Boston?  At the moment, I feel like I never want to run another spring marathon again, due to the winter training regimen.  (Kudos to Muddy for banging out mega-miles on the mill, but I just don't have it in me mentally.)
  2. I have no complaints about snow, and in fact, next winter I want to snowshoe and x-c more.  It's just that on a frigid Saturday or rain-soaking Saturday, I just don't want to feel that I "have to" get in a long run.
  3. Jonny said it best today (23 March) on a Strava posting:  "Hard to get excited about chilly road runs anymore."  Here's to many trail runs and multi-sport adventures as we move into spring.

Monday:  0 (my usual rest day)

5 miles around Weekapaug with Crutch.  Ran most of Clamdigger course and checked out curbs to see if snow-free enough for SNERRO to certify course.  Not quite ready for prime time.

6 miles.  Needham, MA.  Windy, cold, icy on the roads, but better than the 'mill.  Right?

Thursday: 0 (too busy packing for trip and driving to Maine; a/k/a poor planning)

5 miles.  After a tiring day of skiing at Sunday River, a tiring run with Matthew in Maine.  No matter where we ran, it was either steep uphill or downhill (we're in the mountains, afterall).  Wore me out completely.
l-r:  my cousin's son, my cousin Dave, Matthew, Mark

Matthew coming down the slope

Mark in the glades

Saturday: 0 (busy day skiing, and swimming, and drinking, and cavorting)
One of hardest, but coolest,
glade trails I skied (straight ahead through the trees).
Akin to a good trail run.

Great vista.  Mark in center foreground.

Woke up in Maine to 9 degrees, blasting winds, and fresh snow/ice.  Passed on a morning run.
5 miles back in Westerly with Matthew out to Rock Ridge and back.  Everything was sore.

Weekly Mileage Log:
21 miles.  Lowest week this year, but I did get in a lot of skiing to offset, and it can't all be about running, right?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Weekly Log 9-Mar to 15-Mar-2015

Miscellaneous ramblings:

Is "elbow grease" still in the vernacular?  Gave Mark his first lesson on pumping gas, and he took out the nozzle too fast and spilled gas on my car. 
I had him use a squeegee to try to get some of the gas off the paint and when I told him to apply some elbow grease, he looked around and asked me where they keep it!

Turned away from this band for a number of years, when one day this week I heard "Thunderstruck" play on the radio.  Not one of their most popular songs and I generally think of any music from the 1990s to be too new, but what a cool song!
Time to revisit AC/DC.

Monday:  0

Morning snowshoe in Grills with the Westerly Land Trust crew.  This was a lot of fun.  Will have to get snowshoes for 2015-16 winter season.
Snowshoeing on Grills Orange trail
with Westerly Land Trust crew
(7 of us in total)

Looking towards Kedincker Island from Blue Trail:
mid-March and still frozen over and covered in snow
5 miles.  Peppy lunchtime run in Avondale.

6 miles.  Needham, MA.  FINALLY the streets and paved paths were clear enough to go outside.  My winter running on the treadmill is finally done.  When I ran past the track, I could see snowpiles in there, so I ran through freshly plowed paths to the track to take a look-see.  Mistake! 

I got close to the track to see it was plowed but still a thin coat of snow/ice, and then it happened.  Wham!  Slipped on ice and went down hard on my right knee.  Stayed down for a minute or two to gain my composure, as it really smarted.  Got up and seeing the stream of blood, put my knee in the nearest snowbank to try to stem the flow.  Did that until my knee was too cold, and then onwards.  By the time I got back to the Y, I looked down and saw blood had soaked into my socks and shoes and was still coming down.  My first instinct was to get my phone and take a pic for the blog, but I saw the sight was freaking out a Mom and little kid, so into Y and shower.  Fortunately, no one else in shower as the blood was turning the water red.  After a long shower, went to get dressed but the damned thing is still bleeding!  It won't do to have blood stained dress pants at the office.  I can't go out to the front desk and ask for a Band-Aid while I'm naked.  Hmmm, what to do?  Thought of shaving cuts and how tissue stops the blood, and did the same on a larger scale with toilet paper on my knee.  It worked!

3 miles.  The distance belies the effort, as I ran in deep snow trails in Grills to prepare for Saturday's race.  Fun, but exhausting!
Deep, deep, slushy snow at
Big Hill made the going challenging
and slow for me
(No human footprints this far in other than my own)

6 miles.  When I got the e-mail that Brrr-lingame 10 Miler was to postponed for two weeks, I was so bummed and depressed.  (I know FiveK and Mikey felt the same.)  I respect Mike G's decision, but I figured deep snow and predicted pouring rain for Saturday would make for the ultimate sufferfest. 

Fast forward to the afternoon.  Working downtown with a vendor session finishing up early, my boss' boss told me not to return to the office and just get a head start on the weekend!  With my running gear in the car, you don't need to ask me twice!  Changed at the Y and ran out Canal, Springbrook, Boombridge, and back through the North End.  Running, as usual, did help with my mood.

20 miles.  It turns out I'd have my own private sufferfest.  Not knowing where I wanted to run, but knowing I wanted a break from running from the Y or Misquamicut, I drove to Burlingame Campground and made it up as I went along.  Started running up Klondike when a pickup truck drove past me and then stopped, putting the window down.  It turned out to be Charlestown trail runner and multiple Ironman Eric Winn who drove alongside me for the next few miles and chatted.  He was disappointed on today's race postponed as well, but he had a real gripe as it was his 4th race cancelled in recent weeks!

Continued north up to Buckeye Brook and back Route 216, a local neighborhood, and then crossed Route 1 to run West Beach, Central Beach, and East Beach.  East Beach still looked like mid-winter with ice covered slick roads and deep puddles that I waded through.  Back to the car at about 15 miles in, I paused for a Gu and a drink.  Light rain when I started, but it was pouring by now.  Changed my dripping wet gloves for dry ones and thought about changing into dry shoes, but why bother?  Carried my Yaktrax, ran 4 more miles on Burlingame roads to make 19, then donned the Yaks and hit the trails.  Just as Mike G described, deep slushy snow made it really difficult to maneuver.  I was going at about a 15-minute pace, but still glad to be out here on yet another snow run as I suspect that may be about it for the season.  Got back to the car cold, drenched, and weak, but glad I put the effort in.

8 miles.  Got a text from Mikey the evening before that people were running from Tom's in the morning so I figured I'd join.  8 people showed up!  Usual Weekapaug roads and beach.  Was thankful for the stop on the beach, as the run felt fast paced on my fatigued legs.  Good way to end the week.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0.  Gotta back to the biking and swimming.
49 miles.  Started out really slow, but got in some good miles late in week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ocean's Run [Almost] Half Marathon

South Kingstown, RI
Sunday, March 8, 2015

1:18:57.  8th of 389.  1st in age group.  Full results here.

Commute:  Met up with the elusive Mike B for a carpool to Matunuck at 6:30am.  I say elusive because we've been on opposite schedules for the past month or two and have not gotten together for a run in a while. 

Short course:  Running from our parking spot on Moonstone Beach Road, we passed the field that the final stretch of the course is on, and buried in feet of snow, it was apparent there would be course changes forthcoming.  What was not apparent and was downright disappointing was that today's course would be cut short to 12.5 miles, instead of simply adding an additional cone turnaround to make 13.1.

Warm-up: Headed out for a warm-up with Muddy and Seth, while Mikey, FiveK, and Shara hung out in a heated tent.  After warm-up, with temps hovering right around the freezing mark, decided upon shorts and a singlet for race attire.  Got some strange looks and told I was insane (tell me something I haven't heard before), but had Muddy and Seth as accomplices with same attire.

The start: The gun went off and for the first three miles I ran as a pack of three with Chris Fox and a guy who later introduced himself as Peter Harley and that I had beaten him at Surftown.  During the first three miles, there are two turnarounds where you can see the rest of the pack coming back at you.  It was apparent during this stretch that were would be a few icy spots as I saw a girl go down hard.  First three splits:  6:04, 6:09, 6:01.

Solo run:  The first three miles felt a bit too spicy for me, and I backed off.  I ran the rest of the race by myself, with almost all splits in the 6:10s.  Felt like I was pushing it, but looking back at Surftown I see my splits were all about 10 seconds faster then.  Guess I have a ways to go to get back to last fall's fitness.  Or was I just not pushing myself enough?  The long boring straightaway section on Matunuck Schoolhouse Road seemed to go by much faster this year, perhaps because with the earlier start for slower runners, I was seeing other runners most of the way out and back.

The finish:  With about a mile to go, FiveK shows up to run me in.  That really helped, as my final 0.7 miles was run at an average 5:55 pace.  After a cooldown, pizza, and chocolate chip cookies, stayed around for awards ceremony (Muddy 2nd overall, FiveK 1st overall in FiveK, and Shara, Mike B and I picking up age group awards).
Top of the Podium Age Group Finish
(photo by Mike B)

So where are the other competitors?
Theory 1:  At my age, there aren't exactly many competitors left.
Theory 2:  Of the other two age-groupers, one was on oxygen and one
was on crutches, so they couldn't make it up to the podium in time for the pic.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Weekly Log 2-Mar to 8-Mar-2015

1st full week of March, and perhaps the last week of wintry weather.

Monday:  0

7 miles morning beach run.  13 degrees, but sunny.
4 miles.  Deep snow running in Wahaneeta with Yaktrax.  Average 13:41 pace belies the effort, as I had to stop a number of times just to catch my breath.  Beautiful and fun out in the woods, but quite an effort.

6 miles on the dreadmill in Needham, MA.  2 mile warm-up, then 10 * (1-minute @ 5-flat pace, 30 seconds recovery), 1 mile cool-down.

7 miles in perhaps the last snowstorm of the winter.  Ran through Misquamicut, and back on the beach.  Beautiful big white flakes.
5 more in the falling snow.  The bank closed early on account of us getting an additional 8" of fresh powder; how I could resist getting back out there?  Ran the quiet streets of Misquamicut to avoid cars.
The Misquamicut Snow Wolf.
Crutch, looks like there's a
surfboard in the background.

Westerly Land Trust's
Winnapaug Farm Preserve.
Beautiful and peaceful in the new-fallen snow.

Misquamicut Beach - fun to run the beach
in the snowstorm.

5 miles in downtown Wakefield with Muddy and Paul Gray.  Really tough running along the snowbanks on narrow streets.  Jumped onto the plowed bike path for a bit, but that was icy.  Made me really appreciate the diversity of quiet streets I have at my disposal for running choices.
Followed up the running with dinner and drinks with five of my teammates to celebrate our Super 5K men's win.  Drinks:  Long Trail Limbo IPA - really like this, and Glenlivet 18-year old single malt - SMOOTH!  Fortunately, the rest of the guys helped subsidize this one for me, as it was $20.25 a pop.  Thanks guys!

5 miles.  Quiet roads of Chin Hill, No Bottom Pond, and Misquamicut neighborhoods.  Even though it was mid-morning on a Saturday, I saw nary a car.
18 miles.  Ocean's Run truncated Half Marathon, including warm-up and cool-down.  Write up to follow.

Weekly Mileage Log:
57 miles.  Happy with this effort, especially given a race week.