Tuesday, April 28, 2015

RI State Police 5K

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The WTAC squad was smaller this year than in the past.  With Mikey and Chris on the disabled list, this only exacerbated the small size of the team.  Saw Beth in the looong registration line, met newest teammate Johnny W of Charlestown, and met up with Crutch and Mr & Mrs FiveK for a warm-up.

18:04.  4th out of 725.  Full results here.

Mile 1:  State Police shotgun start - I love it.  I started out in 3rd row with Shara, maybe 15 runners back.  It worked out well as with two full open lanes the race opens up immediately.  I just knew Sweatpants Guy was going to be slowing down soon, but the rest of the runners looked quite fit.  However by the time we made the sharp left turn from Narragansett Ave to Kingstown Road, I had made my way up to 8th place and just kept reelin' 'em in.  By the end of the mile, I was in 5th and could see FiveK up ahead in second.  Mile 1 split 5:42.

Mile 2: Ever so slight hill up Boone Street, left down to Ocean Ave where I encountered a slight headwind.  The mile seemed to go by quickly.  Split 5:51.

Mid-course along Boone St
(Photos by sidelined Chris Garvin)

Mile 3:  Just before Coast Guard House, the number 4 runner came back to me.  I slowly passed him, and kept a steady pace not knowing if he'd re-challenge me.  At the final turn off Ocean Ave, I saw FiveK in 2nd place and the 3rd place guy not far behind him.  It seems really long from here to the finish even though it's only 0.3 miles.  I felt like I was narrowing the gap on #3, but he was just too far ahead of me.  Split 5:49.

Picking up my award
(Photos by FiveK)

Although I didn't break 18, I was really close and was happy that all my splits were within 10 seconds of each other.  Cool down run with Tommy and Shara; they even came on trails with me!  Got back in time for awards, including a WTAC mens team win!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Weekly Log 20-Apr to 26-Apr-2015: Running in the Sunshine State

Miscellaneous notes:
  • Just signed up for Mystic Half as a pacer for gratis.  Never been an official pacer before.  Looking forward to this.
  • Looks like we'll be doing our first ever WTAC century this summer after all.  Got Mikey to come aboard, Chris with his constant wanderlust will be away, and FiveK is seeking permission from his soon to be bride.
  • Having put the kibosh on Boston (and any spring marathon), I now "have" to run a fall marathon.  Any suggestions?  Anyone else have fall marathon plans?  Research to ensue.

 5 miles.  Treasure Island, FL.  Matthew ground his old man into the dirt (or rather paved running/walking pathway) for 6 x 400:  80, 78, 77, 74, 76, 78. 
Along today's run

After the workout, we had an easy run return via the beach where we encountered a plethora of birds we don't encounter in RI (see pics).
Laughing Gull


This amazing Great Blue Heron
stood over 3' tall as it
walked along the beach.

Need Hammett or Bentley help
on this one

Obviously not a bird, but this guy was pretty cool!

After a visit at USF, we returned "home" to Treasure Island and us three boys went out for kayaking, or so we hoped.  Unfortunately, nobody would rent kayaks to us because a storm was brewing.  Walked a boardwalk and ate ice cream instead, and then as we returned to the hotel, a tornado warning was issued and broadcast over our phones.  The rain was blowing sideways, and the wind was so strong it was picking up pool furniture and throwing it over a 5' fence.  What to do?  Matthew and I went out onto the now deserted beach and played Frisbee as best we could.  Returned into the hotel literally dripping wet, as people gawking out lobby windows at the storm just looked at us in disbelief. I'm sure Jana would have been just shaking her head.
Awesome dinner at a
Japanese steakhouse

Buy one, get one free Sake -
if you insist!
USF:  Mark's leading choice thus far

4 miles.  Short nighttime run with Matthew on dark, busy Tallahassee streets.
Visited Florida State University today
Sushi and seafood buffet -
I'm in heaven

Finding room for dessert,
and the unlimited wine special

5 miles.  Lafayette Heritage Trails with Matthew.  Tallahassee, FL.   Saw no one until in the middle of the woods a lithe man approximately in his 80s was out walking his dog.  He was explaining that his pace was limited to 3 mile per hour walks these days.  Seeing his frame and his interest in suggesting trails for us to run, I took a guess and said something to the effect that I bet he ran a lot of trails in the day.  His eyes lit up and he smiled and said "Yes, I did!" and proceeded to talk about trail running.   Really nice guy!

Cool, if not blurry, single-track

 coming off one of the
many wooden bridges

Gnarly single-track
The entire FL trip I gorged on food and drink 3x per day (not even counting stops for snacks and my ice cream weakness).  Once back in RI, I'm going to have to issue restraint and get back to a normal eating routine.  Unfortunately, in the meantime, I've packed on a few pounds as I'm seen in the next photo shirtless on the beach  ... (view discretion advised)

Guess I packed on a few too many pounds
gorging myself in FL

5 miles.  Back in Rhody.  Roads and beach.

Friday: 0

6 miles.  Trails in Woody Hill.

6 miles.  RI State Police 5K.  Write-up to follow.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0 miles.
0 miles.
31 miles.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Weekly Log 13-Apr to 19-Apr-2015

Monday:  0

3 miles.  Short Woody Hill loop, then planning/clearing for Pumpkins trail race.

9 miles.  Blue Heron trails.  Took the full loop.  Felt great.  Just two weeks ago these trails were in deep snow.  The only snow I encountered was a 5' snowbank I had to scurry over at one of the trailheads.

7 miles.  Burlingame morning workout with FiveK.  Mixed in a series of 400s and 200s on campground roads.  Wouldn't have gotten this in on my own.

1 mile exploring trail extension for Run for the Pumpkins.

11 miles.  Scone run!  Group road/beach run with Chris and Tommy.  Mixed in a 2-miler at 6-flat, and 1 mile at 6-flat.  Returned on the beach to score a scone before heading a thousand miles south.
Arrived in Florida to find this creepy crawler in our hotel room.

7 miles.  Treasure Island, FL.  Barefoot beach run with Matthew on a beautiful white sand beach.  After a few miles, we both realized our feet weren't yet ready for running seven miles barefoot on sand/shell mix.  A blister and tenderness followed, but good to go by next morning.
Beach run outside our hotel

Guess we're not in Westerly anymore

View from hotel.  Surf got choppy in afternoon for swim.

0.35 mile very choppy swim in the Gulf.  Drank lots of salt water.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0.3 miles.
0 miles.
39 miles.  Fun week of running!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Post 6-Apr to 12-Apr-2015: Clamdigger!

Monday: 0

 5 miles. Barn Island solo AM run.  My favorite place to run in Stonington.
When I left for my trail run this morning,
Matthew said I looked liked Big Bird.
He meant it as a compliment, right?

600 yards.  Finally, a return to the pool.  Have to make this a regular habit now with nary 2 months to tri season.

5 miles.  Woody Hill trails.  My favorite place to run in Westerly.  The town extended Fallon Drive, and at the end were several town workers.  I asked them if this new section was a public road and if OK to park here whilst I run the trails.  They were friendly, confirmed it was public, and told me to have fun.  Even stopped to wave to me on my return.
Woody Hill Marsh (background) at very high water levels
Trail (foreground) completely flooded

 3 miles.  Blue Heron trails in Dedham, MA.  Upon starting running, my hamstrings were instantly in pain.  Sometimes these things go away after a mile or so, so I continued, but to no avail.  Returned back in pain with concern.

700 yards.  Intentionally took a day off from running.  Swimming is low impact, so got back in the pool.

3 miles.  Y course recon for Back Road Ramble.  Pain in leg is gone; just soreness.

3 miles.  Clamdigger 5K. Westerly Sun article.

Wasn't sure if I'd run at all, so I brought my bike down (to tour the course) as well as my running shoes.  There was a breeze down at the beach, but at least it was finally sunny and with warmer temps?  How much warmer?  It was so warm that Chris Garvin wore shorts, so I'm guessing well into the 50s.
We took over the town tourist booth for the day.
(I'll be sending a thank-you e-mail to town officials shortly.)

Start of the race.
(Pic by Don Weller)

Opted to run the 5K, so as RD I could be back before most of the runners (for much the same reason that I run the Westerly Fun Runs hard, but the Stonington Fun Runs easy).  The first mile was my best (5:42), as I was running with the wind and had my teammates to spur me on as I ducked behind FiveK and did my best to stay just behind him.  Most of the fast guys were running the 5-Miler, so once the course split at Breach Drive, I ran the rest of the race as an island.  Mile 2 split was 5:56 and Mile 3 6:04 fully into the wind.  I wish I could analyze the dependent variables and ascertain how much each of the following contributed to my slowest 3rd mile:  1) headwind, 2) lack of runners around me, and 3) race fatigue.
Finishing up the 5K.
(Photo by Jana)

A great day overall.  No one (to my knowledge) ran the wrong course this year, we had separate bib colors for the two events, a team effort from WTAC volunteers, great club participation, awesome chowder made by WHS culinary students, great participation in the kids' beach race, awesome support from the Westerly Police who continue to provide traffic logistics and lead car for our race for free, and just incredible support from the Town of Westerly who could have easily and understandably told us we were out of luck with the beach pavilion under construction, but instead offered us their tourist booth for our use, took down the winter boarding, turned on the power and water for us, and setup picnic tables and parking barriers for us.  Everyone really came together to make this a great event.  I'm really proud to be a resident of Westerly and an officer of the WTAC.

18 miles.  First ride of the season.  Since I had my bike out and didn't get to use it and the afternoon was gorgeous, I took a solo ride through Avondale, Watch Hill, Misquamicut, and Weekapaug.  Felt great!  Looking forward to both WTAC group rides and fun summer tris.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0.8 miles.
18 miles.
20 miles.  Yes, it's paltry, but on the upside, taking a few days off for pain was the right thing and I'm feeling much better now.  Also, this was my first week returning to multisports.