Friday, April 29, 2016

Weekly Log 18-Apr to 24-Apr-2016: State Police 5K

Monday:  5
Run on Burlingame trails with Back Road Ramble YMCA Race Director, prepping for this June 12 race.

Tuesday:  18
Challenging early morning run with Tom.  Ran 5 miles solo from West Beach, Charlestown to Burlingame Campground.  Flat, easy 7:15 pace; only challenge was seeing the bumps in the gravel road at start in the dark at 5:20am.

Hitched up with Tom for a 13-mile hilly ride.  Multiple hills in inland Charlestown for 1,000+ feet of elevation gain.  By the time we hit the last major hill climb on Buckeye Brook Road, I was really fatiguing.  Tom on the other hand still had another gear to go, as he picked it up strong for the last mile plus.

Wednesday:  7
Recovery on the Blue Heron Trail.

Thursday:  0
Rest day.

Friday:  16
AM:  5 miles on fun trails in Goddard Park.
PM:  11 very fast miles in Mystic with Matthew.  Started and ended at Mystic Y, and ran many roads I had never been on before. That includes Cove Road, Latimore Point, and the road to Enders Island.  Average 6:36 pace.

Saturday:  5

Started off the day with an Earth Day clean-up at
Grills Preserve, with a number of WTAC participants.  This is just a
small sample of the junk of the junk we pulled out:  tires,
mattresses, TV stands, bedsheets, and unfortunately,
absolute raw garbage that some residents just tossed onto Land Trust property.

Long abandoned rail tracks
at Grills!
Shimmied up the tree, careful of the broken, rotting boards,
to retrieve a hose and junk up a tree.

Former rail bridge crossing
over a river.  The wooden trestles fallen
and rotting; only the rails remain.

 Afternoon 5-mile run in Woody Hill.

Sunday:  7
RI State Police "Foot Pursuit" 5K.  A nice early spring local 5K that draws over 700 participants. Unfortunately it was one of my slowest road 5Ks in recent years, and I'm not entirely sure why.  When Matthew told me just after finishing that my time was in the 18:30s (there was no clock visible at finish), I didn't believe him, but then I found it was 18:41!  To add insult to injury, the initial times were off for everyone and I was initially listed at 19:17.

I felt like I was running fast throughout the race, and continued to pass people the entire race, as I started in about 15th place and worked my way up to 4th.  So what went wrong?  Some plausible reasons:
  • I missed my first mile split and just assumed I was running in the 5:30s.  Not even close - 5:55.  I'm not one to stare at my watch, but maybe I need that occasional pace feedback to adjust as needed?
  • It was my first road 5K of the year.
  • I haven't been focusing on short distances, and will need to return to speedwork before the summer.
  • I'm just getting old and slow.  Chatted with Dave Schaad for a while pre-race and he told me since age 50 he has been losing about 20 seconds per year.  Yikes!  Is this where I am at?
    Start of the 2016 race
    (Pics by Jana) 

    Passing just before the finish to take 4th overall

    With WTAC winners Aaron and Crutch
On the plus side, the WTAC men's team won.  Not sure what we'll do with our joint $500 Cardi's gift certificate.  Some suggested starting and furnishing a team clubhouse.  Got an additional $100 individual Cardi's gift certificate for my age group win.  Not to sound ungrateful, but I think that will buy a pillow.  A good day and a good race.  Now  I just need to figure out how to get back to faster races.  Next 5K on the schedule is NSEF on Memorial Day weekend.  Anything but flat!

Weekly mileage:
Run:  57

Weekly synopsis:  High mileage week.  Highlights were 1) 18-mile hilly run with Tom, and 2) fast Mystic 11-miler with Matthew.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Clamdigger 2016

Westerly, RI
April 17, 2016

After a one-week delay due to a previously unknown conflict with a biking race in Misquamicut, we were ready to host the 35th annual Clamdigger races.  Unfortunately, we lost a few members and participants with the date change combined with the fact we were now into school vacation week, but we salvaged it as best we could.

It was a beautiful spring day with temps in the 60s and very light winds.  We've had so many races with strong ocean winds and a flooded Atlantic Ave, so this was a nice respite.  A total of 205 runners toed the line of our now certified courses, the highest number in 15 years.  I kept my race remarks short to echo requests of the Westerly Police, and off we went.  I quickly settled in behind Tommy, and while his lead only increased, I never changed positions.  1.5 miles in, the 5K runners split left onto Breach Drive and the rest of us soldiered on down to the breachway and the beautiful ocean views that awaited us beyond.  First two miles:  5:59, 6:03.
Start of 2016 Clamdigger
(The Westerly Sun)

The third mile was the slowest, mostly due to fatigue onset middle of the race, plus going uphill into the wind on Noyes Neck Road.  6:18 split.
Mile 2 in Weekapaug
(Pic by Mike B)

The last two miles I was able to pick it up back on Atlantic Avenue and now passing some of the 5K'ers.  Passed young Ezri just before the finish, as she was having a most impressive major PR out there.  Miles 4 and 5 were 6:04 and 5:54.

Overall:  30:20.  4th place, 1st in age group.
Putting on the free kids' run on the beach

Beautiful post-race party at the beautiful new
Westerly Town Beach pavilion

Fairly happy with my run, especially early in the season.  More happy with how well the race went, and how the WTAC team came together, as well as the town in general, as we were able to use the beautiful new town pavilion, had fantastic support from the police and from the local ham radio team, as well as chowder served by the WHS culinary class.

Nice video of the top 5-milers at 2 miles in


Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekly Log 11-Apr to 17-Apr-2016

Monday:  0
Rest day.

Tuesday:  7
Fun run in Woody Hill in the pouring rain.

Wednesday:  7
 Needham street run.

Thursday:  6
First run in Vazee Pace.  After five versions of 890 shoes, New Balance has dropped them.  Their replacement is noted as Vazee Pace, but it seems a very different shoe to me.  No nobs on the bottom of shoe, closer to a racing flat.  Lightweight at 7.5 ounces, I'll have to figure out soon whether they will work me for me in the marathon distance or not, as I'm getting some helpful, but quite varied feedback.

Friday:  8
Richmond and Hopkinton rolling hills on super quiet country roads.  Started and ended at Arcadia Y as I had a Back Road Ramble committee meeting there in the morning, so I figured I'd get there an hour early, run different roads, shower, and be ready for the meeting.  It turned out I really liked this run!  It was challenging but idyllic.
Running past the dam at Wyoming Pond was just a bonus!

Saturday:  7
 Breezy local run from my house with Tommy.

Sunday:  5
 Clamdigger 5-Mile race.  Write-up to follow.

Weekly mileage:
Run:  40

Weekly synopsis:  Not a very good running week.  Mileage was lower than intended, with no long runs due to racing.  Highlight was the country roads run in Richmond and Hopkinton.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Weekly Log 4-Apr to 10-Apr-2016: Wild Weather Week

Monday:  5
Snow flurries on local road run.  Snow flurries in April?

Tuesday:  6
Windy, fastish road run at 6:49 pace.

Wednesday:  5
Trail run in about 6 inches of snow in April!!  Slow going, but so much fun.  Why couldn't I have had this back in winter?
Not only was it snowy,
but uncharacteristically cold
for April

People had even cross-
country skied the trails!
April, eh?

Just beautiful out in the woods

Thursday:  0
The day got away from me.

Friday:  5
Downpour.  Let's head for the trails!  Lunch run in the soaked, muddy, trails of Woody Hill, including the swollen banks of the Woody Hill Pond that made the trail calf-deep in places.  Fun!

Saturday:  19
Coastal long run with Tommy.  Really glad he invited me on this run.  It was just the confidence builder I needed, as we ran the first 14 miles sub-7 pace winding down to 6:11 pace before a short water break in Weekapaug that he had set up.  Super happy with this.

Sunday:  11
First time ever running in Carolina "North".  Matthew and I had only planned to run about 8, but we got a little lost and figured out after a while that the road we had exited onto was not Pine Hill Road as intended, but Switch Road.  It's all good.  Fun run; legs still sore from yesterday.

Weekly mileage:
Run:  51

Weekly synopsis:
The mileage this week is much closer to my expectations.  The snow and rain funs were fun.  Saturday's long run with Tommy was a needed confidence booster.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weekly Log 28-Mar to 3-Apr-2016: Deficient

Not a good week at all.  Avoided writing this at all, but let's realize it for what it is, and move on:

Monday:  0
My normal rest day.

Tuesday:  7
First ever New Haven run.  In New Haven for the day only on business, I was treated to a run at lunchtime.  I figured this would be flat city running, which it was for a few blocks, but then it became a hilly (300' climb) winding road up to a park.  Pushed the pace pretty good with ~7:15 uphill and ~6:30 down.

Wednesday:  9
On business in Wellesley, MA, as I am most Wednesdays.  Blue Heron Trail loop.  One of my favorites, except the busy road section just over the Boston city line.  Fortunately that portion is short and most of this run is single-track through the woods and marshes.

Thursday:  0
Why zero on a Thursday?  Uncharacteristically very bad day at work.  I was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  Angry, upset, came home, and sulked.  This too shall pass.

Friday:  7
Very foggy April Fool's trail run at Bradford Preserve.

Saturday:  7
Had intended 14-16, overslept, got out there on roads in Misquamicut to Avondale in yet another foggy, rainy day, and just lost interest.  Not good.

Sunday:  0
Another "had intended", but this was one had a legitimate excuse.  The ground is snow-covered, and the bizarre April snow is coming down at a good clip.  Matthew and I are dressed to run and just about ready to drive for a trail run in Carolina north, when the phone rings ...

It's the phone call that every parent dreads:  "Dad, I've been in an accident.  Can you come?"  Mark was fine physically, but shaken up a bit mentally.  He can't tell either 911 or me where he physically is, and even with 911 tracking GPS off his cell phone, the car is so far down an embankment (off Route 95 in Exeter) that it takes the State Police a number of passes and half an hour before they find him.  The car had spun out of control in the snow covered highway and left the roadway.  Scary!  Between then and the next day when we see him again, the tow-truck driver/ auto shop owner will have towed vehicles from an additional ELEVEN snow-related accidents!  The car is totaled (it doesn't take much for an 11-year old car valued at about $2,500), I've missed another day of running, but Mark is fine and that puts it all in perspective about what really matters.  Hopefully I'll remember that the next time I'm whining about whatever insignificant temporary inconvenience du jour that I'm going through next.

Weekly mileage:
Run:  31

Weekly synopsis:
Yes, pretty pathetic mileage during marathon training.  The best laid plans of mice and men.  Life goes on.  Life is short.  Move forward.