Saturday, June 25, 2016

Weekly Log 13-Jun to 19-Jun: Insufferable Heat, Illness, and Ineptitude

Chris Garvin would not like this blog title, as he would feel it way too negative.  I'll try to keep it short and balanced.

Monday:  0
Regular rest day.

Tuesday:  0
Tommy had planned a weekly workout at WHS track.  I did enjoy last week's, albeit not on a track, but telltale body chills on a warm afternoon the day before forebode an oncoming fever and illness.

0.3 miles.
St. Petersburg, FL.  After more chills and shaking on the flight down, Mark and I arrived Florida on a warm and late afternoon.    We had a busy schedule of college orientation sessions the next two days, so since we're staying beachside let's get out and enjoy it.  I got into the water with two sensations:  1) the salinity was VERY high, and 2) the water was quite warm.  I later found out the water temp was 85F!!  Back home it's a chilly 56F still.

Well, I'm out here, so let's swim.  Finished up my swim, looked around, and didn't see Mark.  Walking back to the hotel, I spied him, or rather he spied me as he's sitting at a hotel beach with his foot up, surrounded by an older couple.  This can't be good.  It turns out he had unwittingly stepped on the remains of a long fish barb, that had gone a good inch into the bottom of his foot.  Off to the pharmacy to get stuff to clean out his wound and bandage it.  An inauspicious start to the trip.

Thursday:  0
.I woke up and actually felt worse.  Fever of 101 degrees.  Off to Tampa for a long day of orientations, where the temperature quickly rises into the 90s, with heat index (or "Real Feel") of about 105 degrees.  Short walks to the car at midday just totally sap me and leave me sweating profusely, only to get back into the A/C at the all-day orientation sessions and finding myself shivering and shaking while trying to talk to people.  At last the day was over and after dinner, I was walking on campus as Mark wanted to show me where he'll be living.  At 7pm, the temperature has dropped to 90 degrees.
USF Bulls

Attractive USF campus

Remembering to keep the positive spirit:  The orientation sessions were really well organized, I'm happy for Mark, and they played "Back in Black" at the orientation dinner.

Friday:  0
Another day, another 101 degree fever.  This was after waking up in the middle of the night with my sheets and pillows just soaked (sweat, not urine).  Yeah, I guess running is out of the question today.  Got to the hotel about 7:30pm and straight to bed.

Remembering to keep the positive spirit:  The campus is very clean and attractive.

  4 miles.  Temperature has dropped to 99 degrees!  Ran on the beach for 4 miles at almost 9 pace, but had to stop and take a break at Mile 3 as I was getting weak and dehydrated.  Slow progress?

7 miles!  Temperature 98 degrees!  Happy to be back in RI, where the morning temps are in the 50s!  Ran Sammy C with Matthew, then the double-track down to North Camp, where we ran into my brother Greg out for a walk with his talks.  Good to catch up with him.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0.3 miles.   
0 miles.
11 miles. 

Weekly Synopsis:
Worst running week in a long time, but then again, the sickest I've been in a while.  With my fever gone Sunday, I kept thinking everyday would be the last day of my illness.  Unfortunately, while that went away, the next week brought new symptoms including chest constriction and a neck so stiff I could barely turn it.  Fast forward to Friday of the following week (6/24) and after a short run where my legs feel like cement, my entire body aches, I have zero energy, and I feel like someone sat on my chest, I've had enough and went to see the doctor.  After a lot of questions and examining my body, the doc is quite sure I have Lyme disease and believes he found the bite on my upper thing.  If there's a silver lining, at least I know what ails me finally and I'm on the meds to get me past this.  What a dolt for thinking it was a simple fever/virus that just needed to run its course!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Back Road Ramble 5-Miler

Ray Cherenzia Back Road Ramble
Sunday, June 12, 2016

This is the 5th year running of this race, and I'm happy to have run every edition of it. 

After they paved the camp portion of the course in Year 2 to the horror of most participants (naturally, Mike B applauded it), I suggested to the Y that they look for a course change the following year, and they in turn asked me to serve as a volunteer on their race committee.  Sure, I'll put my money where my mouth is.  Many meetings pursued at the Arcadia Y, plus course tweaking and measuring, and voila, a new course with less asphalt and more trails was born.

For 2016, the major change was the edition of a 5-mile option that I had proposed and got approved. I arrived at 6am for an 11am start.  Why?  To help course mark.
... and we're off.  I'm behind Jonny as we prepare to attack
the amphitheater.
(Pic by Jana)

Short race overview:  After a warm-up with Jonny Hammett, we were ready to go.  I told him I projected to see him as far as the campground playground.  After the climb up the amphitheater and exit to Burlingame parking lot, I was in 6th place, just behind Jonny.  The top four were 5K and Jonny E leading it out on Sanctuary Road, followed by two kids I didn't know.  A half-mile or so in, Jonny (H) went ahead of the two kids and I stayed back.  I sensed the two kids were already slowing a bit so just before the trailhead, I sped up to go around them for a better trail position.  At 1.25 miles in, the course splits and I followed behind Jonny at a much bigger gap now.  When we split off back into single-track (near the Ledge Trail), that would be the last I see of Jonny.
A mile in, and already the form is slumping?
(Pic by Seth)

No-mans land:  I really enjoyed the next two miles of winding rolling single-track, but was getting hot, and running in no man's land gave me little impetus to push it.  Normally I skip the waterstops but was dehydrated and appreciated the water.  When we merged back onto the 5K course, it was at the tail end of runners and start of walkers.  It was easy passing them on the open field section, and on the single-track I called out "On your left!" and they all politely pulled to the side of the trail.

After the long Sanctuary return, I had a good finish on the downhill and was ready for lunch and a swim.  (Actually I was ready for fun on the water trampoline, but it unfortunately it was closed due to whitecaps.)

2nd overall in 34:52.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Weekly Log 6-Jun to 12-Jun-2016

Getting myself behind again in blog write-ups. Regular updates make it easier; let's see if I can get back to that:

Monday:  0

7 miles.  Fun workout that Tommy 5K put together for Shara, Mike B, and I.  This one was a set of 8 x 400ish on Fenway to Wawaloam (Weekapaug), preceded and followed by a couple miles easy on the road, with an optional dip in the ocean for dessert.

Started out slowly on the first two, but gradually picked up the pace.  Tommy and I ended up being the only brave (stupid?) souls to go in the water, but it was quick.

8 miles.
AM:  5 miles at Hale Reservation (MA).  Had only run once here before, but in a different area.  With advice from a MA-based colleague and trail rider and an electronic trail map, I set off anew. 
Nice views

Fun trails

PM:  3 miles.  Westerly Fun Runs Week #1.  Jonny H took off with a great run, and I didn't see him after the long Crandall stretch.  Jonny E hung on my shoulder for 2.5 miles.  For some reason, I find it annoying when runners follow me so closely.  It's a Fun Run; if you want to run my pace, come up and run with me, otherwise back off and give me a little room, or go ahead of me.  Just my thoughts; too harsh?  I felt like I put in a hard effort, but only came up with an 18:46.  Splits 5:44, 5:58, 5:48.

6 mile run at Woody Hill.  Ran from Wahaneeta, brought a bow saw to take care of some small obstructions just past the Swamp Bypass Trail.  Ran into Muddy and ran with him to show him the monument.

6 miles, including a portion along the beach at sunrise.

  31 mile ride with Mike out to Chariho.  Passed on the larger group ride as I needed to get out to New Britain, CT and watch Matthew take 1st in his heat and 11th overall in the 3,200 meter at New England Outdoor Track Championships in 9:23!

11 miles.  Back Road Ramble.  Abbreviated write-up to follow.

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

Weekly Synopsis:
Decent running week, culminating with BRR.  Looking forward to more group rides.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mystic Tri 2016

With near zero bike and swim training to date this year, jumped into the Mystic Tri as a training tri.  A short summary of highlights ensues:
Transition area
(Pic by Matthew )

Swim:  1/2 mile, 20:41, 69 out of 106. 

My only objective was to get into a groove and comfortably finish the swim.  As I approached several odd telephone poles in the water, I remembered a recent conversation with Tom Beattie (husband of WLT president, and past triathlete and marathoner) in which he told me about one Mystic tri where he swam head-first smack into one of these poles and momentarily sank.  Ouch!  I was extra sensitive with additional sightings anywhere near any of these.

The only memorable moment in the swim was early on colliding into another swimmer.  Nothing odd in a collision itself; that happens multiple times most tris.  What was unusual on this one was that I hit the swimmer broadside (i.e., perpendicular to me).  I looked up and saw he just plain swimming completely off course at a 90-degree angle to the straightest route.  Someone doing much worse than even me.

The swim is over!  It can only get better from here.
(Pic courtesy of Tommy 5K)
Bike:  14.4 mile, 45:33, average speed 18.4 mph, 38 out of 105.

After a horrendous T1 in which I couldn't seem to get it together and actually my chip came completely off my leg for the first time ever, it was time to get into the saddle.  It was light raining most of the ride, and I was slowly gaining on and passing riders ahead of me (remember, I was coming off a back of the pack swim).  Most memorable moment on the bike was after passing about a dozen cyclists, I myself was passed.  OK, not only passed, but "chicked".  OK, not only chicked, but as she went by me, I looked at her age marked on her leg.  62!!!
Off to the run!
(Pic by Matthew )

Run:  3 miles (actually, a little shorter), 18:24, 2nd overall!

Finally, I was in my element!  Gazelles were built to run.  Not sure about crossing water or those 2-wheeled things.  I was tying my shoelaces in T2 when someone ran by yelling, "Next time wear speed laces!".  Took off on the course and quickly caught up to him.  Was tempted to explain to him that I have them at home, but didn't bother bringing them because I'm using this as a training tri as opposed to an all out race, but what's the point?  Steadily passed runners headed down Mason's Island.  Saw Schonning on his way back, and Tim Lebling towards the turnaround.  Passed Timmy, but didn't have enough runway to catch Schonning.  Happy to see him finish well.  Splits 6:16, 6:26, 6:03.

Overall:  1:27:28, 32nd overall, 5th in age group.

Overall, happy with my inaugural tri of the year, and gave me confidence going into the season.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Weekly Log 30-May to 5-Jun-2016: Start of Tri Season

With next to nothing swim and bike training, it's time to start up the tri season.  First up is Mystic Tri.  I'm signed up for Fat Clam in Coventry on July 23 and will be in for my favorite tri, Block Island on August 6.  Other possibilities include Oh My Goddard (Warwick, June), Niantic (August), and OCY (September).

6 miles. Memorial Day trail run in the rain with Tommy and Mikey. Seriously!  Ran the new Back Road Ramble course, and tacked on another mile.

Tuesday:  0

5 miles.  Needham track.  Have not done any speedwork in months, so I thought I would set a base.  1 x 800 (2:49), 2 x 400 (83, 81).  It's not pretty, but you have to start somewhere.

Early on in my 800, there was an elderly couple walking and blocking Lane 1 from my running.  I was about to yell "TRACK!" but at the last second thought better of it.  By the next and all subsequent laps, they were in lanes 2 and 3.  I decided to take a different tack, and after I finished, during my cooldown I slowed to a walk next to them and thanked them for their courtesy to move out of Lane 1.  The husband said he had just celebrated his 83rd birthday and the wife said she was  impressed with my speed and asked me about my running.  To think I had even contemplated yelling at this nice couple!  What a jerk.

22 mile ride with Tom T.  My co-worker picked an interesting route out to Dunn's Corners, Bradford, Ashaway, and back Boom Bridge Road.  As a former Westerly Police captain, you could tell me was concerned with road safety (mirror, flashing lights, etc).

500 yard solo swim at Mystic Y.  First open swim of the year.  Again, have to start somewhere.  Gave me enough confidence that I can get through Mystic Tri.

 5 humid miles at Bradford Preserve.
Followed up the trail run
with trail course marking.
 XC course is fully marked!

Check out this box turtle hiding in the field.

0.6 miles.  Mystic Tri.  Write-up to follow.
12 miles.
4 miles.

Weekly Mileage Log:
0.9 miles.   
36 miles.
21 miles. 

Weekly Synopsis:
Fun to get out there at a tri, even in the light rain.  As always, need to find the right balance between my dominant sport of running and some tri training.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Weekly Log 23-May to 29-May-2016: Biking and Course Clearing

With spring marathon season in the rear mirror and tri season just around the corner, it's time to start biking and [gulp] swimming.

Monday:  0

Tuesday:  0
Trail maintenance deep inside Crandall Family Swamp.

Wednesday:  6
 Foggy trail run in Noanet Woodlands.

Thursday:  5
 Trail run from Wahaneeta up to Bradford Preserve via new XC course, loop back.

Friday:  5
 Beach run!  YAY!

Saturday: 0
29 mile ride with the group to Mystic and Stonington Borough.  First group ride!

Sunday: 9
Early morning Burlingame trail run with Matthew.

New WHS X-C course:  Before
(Pic doesn't do justice showing the rocks and ruts)

After pic:  well done, thanks to my brother Greg
Next up:  marking the course.  Come run it!
Ruts gone, remnants of stone wall pushed to the sides, before the trail
exits into the field.

Weekly mileage:
Run:  25
Bike:  29

Weekly synopsis:  Slowly returning.  Focus will be increasing biking and swimming, and have to get in some speedwork before summer short races.