Sunday, December 11, 2016

Weekly Log 5-Dec to 11-Dec-2016: Christmas 10K Week

Just four weeks remain in the year.  Final race of 2016 is this weekend in Newport.

Monday:  0

Tuesday:  7
Penfield State Park and Talcott Mountain State Park, Simsbury, CT.  Looked for a place to run near Bradley Airport, as I was picking up Mark coming home for the holidays.  Scanned Crutch's Strava runs in this area, reached out to him, and the choice was made.  This place is a lot of fun!

Started off on the Metacomet Trail (a 62 mile blue-blazed CT trail) in Penfield State Park and immediately started huffing and puffing on a 250' climb in the first half-mile.  After 1.6 miles up to Lake Louise, headed back on a parallel trail where I took the downhill CR.

Next across the street to Talcott Mountain State Park, where I would ascend more than 530', but this time it was over 2 miles.  Very technical trails along a ridge.  At the top I lingered around the Heublein Tower for just a couple of minutes, as I was running out of daylight.  Bombed down the yellow trail on the way down, taking my 2nd CR on the day.  Fortunately I didn't crash.
Heublein Tower,
built in 1914

Buildings at base of Heublein Tower

Views from Heublein Tower

Wednesday:  5
Dark, cold, and rainy run at Ninigret Park before sunrise.  37 degrees and a steady rain.  Even with a headlamp, it was easy to get disoriented running across the field.  Matthew planned this oneI out.  We were trying to get out to the trails, when we were surprised when we got to a gate with signs saying the refuge was closed.  A search later on revealed that the area is closed until December 23 for hunting of deer.  Continued out of park and onto Arnolda loop; my first time there.

Thursday:  6
Planned a lunchtime run at Grills Hopkinton.  Got there and started to change into running clothes, only to find I didn't bring any shorts.  I brought three shirts and two hats, but no shorts.  What an idiot.
I drove home (where I do have shorts) and at that point, ran roads and a little of beach.  My punishment for my idiocy was I got caught by a wave and went ankle deep into the ocean.  Actually didn't feel that cold.

Friday:  5
Noanet Woodlands, Dover, MA.  10-minute warm-up, followed by 10 x (1-minute on, 1-minute off).  The first three felt really easy; the remaining ones not so much. 
My run was going really well, until the final interval when I was coming downhill hard around a corner and a dog started growling at me.  I stopped dead in my tracks.  Where the heck is the owner?  Oh, here he comes, shuffling up the trail repeating "She just puppy, she just puppy".  Oh, well, as long as she's just a puppy, then it's fine for her to interrupt my run, block the trail snarling at me and pouncing towards me unleashed, all the while I have no idea of whether she is friend or foe.  I was ticked, and after the owner grabbed his dog to let me pass, I tried to talk rationally to him, but he just kept interrupting with "Thank you, thank you", so I don't think I was getting through.  Argh.  We need more Gusses and less unleashed snarling dogs with irresponsible owners.
On my cooldown, I calmed down a bit.

Saturday:  Zero, zilch, nada
Planned to run in the morning, but awoke to our furnace no longer working.  Temp had dropped to 53 degrees in the house, and now with temps forecast to be sub-freezing over most of the next 48 hours, this needed to be my priority to call and wait for a repairman to come out.  Anyway, the furnace needs a new circuit board, which is being expedited to get here Monday, and in the meantime, between the gas fireplace and electric space heater, we were able to get the inside temperature up to 59 degrees.  Good enough.

A tad chilly in the house this morning

Deferred my run to the afternoon, and then spent most of the afternoon getting a Christmas tree.  I overdid it this time, and being the first time the boys didn't come with us, this was the first time we (Jana and I) could not lift the tree onto the car.  I cut down a 15-footer that was very full and such a wide circumference trunk that it was a bear to drag it to the car alone.  We needed to get it to the Christmas tree lot about 1/2 mile away where they could bale it for us and there would be others to lift the baled tree onto the car.  We dragged it about 5' at a time before taking breaks, then I parked the car near a fence while climbing a fence trying to simultaneously lift the tree.  Yeah, no go.  I don't understand why my back hurts.  I was contemplating tying the tree to the back of the car and dragging it the half-mile, when one of us (hint:  it wasn't me) had the common sense to abandon this nonsense.  Sectioned the tree and moved it into the woods, then Jana picked a second tree (a "small" but nice-looking 13' blue spruce) and that was a breeze compared to the monstrosity of a tree.  Got it on top of the car, drove it over to the main lot where the workers came out and helped, and then I explained my story and insisted to pay for 2 trees, but the employees wouldn't hear anything of it.  Where is this gem that will continue to get my business?  Buttonwood Farm, Griswold, CT.

No, the tree wasn't this big, but
 the Griswolds had four to handle the tree,
and the Walkers were down to two this year.
Maybe seeing how long it took me to cut down the tree
should've been a hint that it was too big?
Sunday:  8
Christmas 10K.  Really fun time.  Write-up to follow shortly.

Weekly mileage:  32

Weekly synopsis:  Disappointing mileage total.  It's easy to make excuses, but this was clearly not the mileage I was looking for.  Onward and upward.  Between no more races this year and having the last two weeks of the year off, it should not be a problem (to exceed this week's paltry mileage).

A major disappointment was the hats we ordered for Clamshell Series awards.
They look great, and I love the color, but unfortunately even though
"one size fits all", they're huge and just too big for running.
I was really excited when hats were suggested, and didn't realize
the sizing issue until after distributed.
Perhaps a lesson learned is to get a single sample ahead of time to try on?
Maybe the hat would fit this guy well?


  1. Next year, call a friend who has a truck for that tree! Glad I could help with the intel for your Metacomet run :)

  2. More Gus! Awww, he is a good egg, he's also 9 so that helps a bit. A lot of it is on the owner understanding the nature of the dog. The Christmas tree story is great! Well if you wanted to double up the hat it might make a good second hat? Enjoy two weeks off.