Monday, September 11, 2017

Weekly Log 4-Sep to 10-Sep-2017: Beach Run

Finally, blogging all caught up with weekly blogs!  I need to keep the pattern of just blogging once per day on that day's run, and posting at end of week.  It's so easy that way, takes little time, and I actually REMEMBER what I ran and how I felt instead of looking up on Strava to see "what did I even run on Monday"?

Monday:  11
Labor Day.  Fun technical run with Jonathan Short CW loop through Yawgoog, up and around Green Falls Pond in CT, back to RI on the Freeman Trail to Hidden Pond and back the east side of Yawgoog Pond.  Four ponds; could have easily added two more by tacking on Long and Ell Ponds, but the legs were already feeling it from a rather technical run with lots of rocks and a few cliffs.

Tuesday:  5
Run for the Pumpkins 8K course run.  Ran the full course, although walked the new connector trail that exists with flags only at this point.

Wednesday:  11
AM 8-mile 'Round the Pond solo run.  Soupy
PM 3-mile Carter Preserve bushwhacking.  Tried to run on new mapped trails, but still not cleared.  Overgrown and soaked, it was tough going and I gave up after 3 miles.

Thursday:  10
AM 5-miler on Washington Secondary Bike Path, Cranston.  Was short on time with impending meetings in Providence, so it became an unintended progression run with the last mile 6:09 and average pace 6:33.

PM 5-miler in Big River on return home from Providence.  Ran Lego trail out and Fosters Folly back.  Really like both of these trails, as they're twisty single-track, but with so many connecting criss-crossing trails, I always get tripped up a bit.  Missed one final turn on Lego and ended up on asphalt on Hopkins Hill Road.  Fortunately the asphalt section was short before re-entering trails and getting my bearings back.

Friday:  3
Stavros Beach Run.  Due to the way the tides fell and the only two 6pm low tides in September being on Sundays, we had to move the event one hour earlier this year to a 5pm start.  Because of that, I was afraid we wouldn't get much participation, but we ended up with 72 finishers, 20 more than last year!  Yes, half of those were high school runners not affected by a 5pm start that working folk might be, but the high school contingent was also there last year so not sure why the uptick.
Start of the 2017 Stavros On the Beach Run
Low tide was at 4:18pm, so the tide was already incoming at the start.  At a number of points heading out, I opted to run in shallow water over going up higher on the beach.  It worked for me, and aided by a strong tailwind, my Mile 1 split was a strong 5:42.  At the turn around, Matthew was in the lead, followed another high school, John Walker (unrelated), and then me.  I also saw perennial adversary Eric Ciocca on my heels, which worried me.  (Eric finished 3 seconds behind me last year.)
Our biggest contingent in a while, with 72 finishers

I figured on the way back I could make up the distance gap the 2nd runner had on me and my endurance might help, but I underestimated the effect the headwind had on me.  Also, about another 1/2 mile in, I went right into some soft sand and nearly tripped.  It threw off my gait, I lost a few seconds, and figured Eric was about to pass me any second.  I never looked back, put in a decent effort that felt embarrassingly slow, and kept my position for the rest of the race, never passing nor getting passed.  2nd mile was 6:18 (1/2 headwind, 1/2 tailwind), and 3rd mile was a slow 6:42.
The tide has been coming in for an hour now as I finish up here,
but still a fun time to run on the beach

Final results:  18:37, 3rd out of 72 finishers.  Full results here.

Matthew was well ahead of me by 1:25, but the 2nd place runner was just 18 seconds ahead of me.  I wish I had pushed it harder on the outbound headwind section to stay with him.  I do love these barefoot beach runs, and hope next year we can hold it closer to actual low tide time, and get lucky with a calmer day.
Check out our cool new FINISH flag, thanks to the grant that Mike B secured for us.

Saturday:  13
11 mile challenging trail run with Jonathan Short.  He had expressed interest to run trails north from Beach Pond.  Since I had never run in this area, I was game.   We met up at Beach Pond at 7am, then ran north on the Pachaug Trail.  We ran as far as the Wiclabouet Marsh, then turned around.  This was a much tougher trail run than I expected and was getting winded towards the end.  Technical most of the way, and many short climbs and rock scrambles.  1,500' elevation gain.  Swim in Beach Pond was heavenly.
Tacked on a 2-mile run with gas can at Bradford Preserve to mow the upper field XC trail portion.  Am feeling unbelievably beat.

Sunday:  13
AM:  9 miles.   First time ever NOT running Surftown Half.  Six consecutive years was a good run, but with the last two years being humid sufferfests, I just had it and lost interest.  (Of course, this year was low humidity and 50 degrees!)  Anyhow, had a pleasant road/trail/beach mix with Chris, and took in the Surftown Half watching a number of our WTAC teammates run it.

Late AM:  Worked with Muddy to create the new Pumpkins connector trail, while 4 other WTAC members worked to maintain existing trails.  Even with both of us using WLT weed-whackers with blades, I found this to be really tough work.

PM:  4 miles in the Westerly Town Forest with Jana.

Weekly Mileage:  67!

Weekly Synopsis:  Fun week with some tough runs.  Really happy with the mileage this week!  Only downside is I would like more of the mileage to come from longer runs.

Weekly Highlight:  So many good runs that it's tough to choose.  I would have to say the Pachaug Trail run with Jonathan Short.  It really beat me up, but it was a challenging, hilly, and technical run.

Right on its heels would be the Yawgoog run, the On the Beach Race, and the run with Chris 'round the pond spectating Surftown.

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