Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekly Log 13-Feb to 19-Feb-2017: Reveling in Winter!

Trying to enjoy as much fun in the snow as possible, before it inevitably melts away.  :(

Monday:  5
Usually take Mondays off, but the opportunity presented itself for another snowshoe run.  Wahaneeta wasn't plowed, so I parked at the baseball field and snowshoed Moorehouse Preserve fields and around the baseball complex.  Brutal!  Tough breaking through the crust on top of the snow and winter was howling.  Contemplated taking a DNF after 3/4 mile, but then I got into the woods and it got much better.

Took a lap around the perimeter trails following in someone's snowshoe steps from a couple of days ago before the inch of snow/ice.  (I later found out it was the WLT president and her husband.)  After making one lap, I figured a second lap might be easier after my first set of tracks.  Indeed it was.  Finishing two laps, I mused that a 3rd lap would be progressively easier after 2 passes.  I know readers must be very impressed with my deductive reasoning skills by now.  Besides, the 3rd lap would be in the dark, so that would be fun.  Turned on the headlamp, and enjoyed it.

Tuesday:  4 (snowshoe hike)
Got an e-mail from the WLT that they were having a snowshoe hike this morning, so I managed to make it work.  When I learned they were planning to snowshoe in Woody Hill, I was extra excited.  The first stop for our group of about eight was a Civil War cemetery, and after that I was asked if I could lead them on "my" new trail that we held the Pumpkins race on (the Hansel & Gretel trail).  A few said they thoroughly enjoyed the trail and planned to come back.  After learning (and continuing to learn) so much from the WLT, I was thrilled to be able to give back just a tad and show a new trail and answer questions some had about the dam, the Perry Healey Brook, and town acquisitions.
First snowshoe stop:  the Crandall Civil War era cemetery

Snowshoeing Hansel & Gretel
In late afternoon, met up with Tommy 5K and the director of Stonington Recreation to discuss plans for a likely end of summer XC fun run.  When I showed up at Tom's office and said I had an appointment with Tommy 5K, the receptionist asked me how to spell his last name.  Um, it's "5-K", unless you want the full variant of "F-I-V-E-K".  I don't know why she was confused by me, but fortunately Tom saw me and waved me in.  We had a productive meeting with a lot of positive vibes, and am just working out final details now.

Wednesday:  5
Barn Island.  Shorts and snowshoe snafu.  Still very new to snowshoe running, I made a major faux pas of wearing shorts.  At 46F, shorts is usually just a no-brainer, but apparently not when snowshoe running, as the kicked up snow and ice made a red, raw mess of my legs.  The one trail where I was tracking virgin snow was the worst.  Thought about quitting early.  Nah, you're out there; suck it up, Cupcake, and make the best of it and you can whine later.
Ouch, the legs are getting cold and raw.
Toughed it out.

On the plus side, while the marshes now have bare and mud spots,
the deep woods still have quite a bit snow.
Really hoping the snow holds out a few more days.

Thursday: 6
Hale Reservation, Dover, MA.  Thought I would try to run in Yak-Trax today, but between deep snow in MA, and plows out on roads after an overnight snowfall, this just didn't work out.  Fortunately, I had packed multiple wardrobes and sets of shoes and equipment, so I had options.  Isn't running supposed to be inexpensive and simplistic, where you just put on pair of shoes and go?

So back to snowshoeing.  5th of out last 6 days have seen time on snowshoes.  Certainly enjoying it.  Today's snowshoe run was no exception, except when I accidentally kicked the aluminum edges of the snowshoes in to the back of my legs still sore from yesterday.  Ouch.  There were some tracks on all but one of the trails I was on, but the tracks were under a few inches of snow, there was more than a foot of snow on the trails, and the going was tough and slow.  Dressed too warm and overheated quickly.  Power hiked all the steeper hills, as that was especially tough going, and let's be honest here; the aging gazelle needed a few short breathers after snowshoeing in snow over a foot deep.
Fresh powder.  Just beautiful.

I wonder why no one was picnicking today.

Deep in the woods, a river flowing through snow and ice floes.  Tranquil and beautiful.

Friday:  5
Back to Woody Hill.  Was able to put the Yak-Trax to good use today, as I ran the [mostly] packed down trails that we snowshoed as a group on Tuesday.  With temps about 26 degrees, the snow was good and crunchy.  Yakked for 4 miles, and threw on the snowshoes for 1 mile just to see what snowshoe running on frozen snow was like.  Not surprisingly, much faster!

Saturday:  20!
Long run with Tommy 5K.  For something different, met up at Springbrook School and ran roads mostly in North Stonington and Hopkinton.  Tom wasn't sure if he was in for 16 or 20, but I'm really glad he stayed for the full punishment.  Enjoyed the quiet country roads.  Tough hill climbs, but company and conversation definitely helped the time and distance go by.
1) Boombridge climb was the longest and greatest elevation gain, but 2) Clarks Falls climb was the steepest.
By the time we got to 3) Collins climb and 4) Potter Hill climb, they just beat me up.

Sunday:  6
The weather has made a markedly warmer turn.  I got my wish for the snow to hang around a few more days, but it's melting fast, so I got out there in 59-degree temps for likely a final snowshoe for a while.  Quite a few bare spots are springing up.
Final snowshoe run for a while.  There is still some deeper snow in
shaded sections (such as here on the perimeter trail of Wahaneeta Preserve),
but it's melting fast.

Weekly mileage:  48

Weekly synopsis:
I would like to be getting into the 50s, so not far off.  I've also got to keep it fun, and this week that was definitely accomplished playing in the snow.  Got out on to the snow-covered trails 6 out of 7 days this week.  What I really want to try, if not this season then next, is a snowshoe race.

In the meantime, with 8 weeks before the Newport marathon, next week should be back to some higher mileage and some MP pace training, before backing off a bit the following week of Ocean's Run Half.


  1. Ah Newport. Good to know! Excellent week!

  2. I'll be at Newport, as well! Oh and not only newbies make the mistake of wearing shorts to snowshoe. I saw a lot of bare, red legs at World's this weekend. Why I wore a singlet but still tights. Haha. Glad you got Indonesia snowshoeing before the melt!

    1. Great, I'll look for you there. Misery loves company! Yeah, lesson learned the hard way with the shorts and snowshoe!