Tuesday - Tempo Run - Charlestown, RI - 5.5 milesPitch black 5 AM run down Old Coach Rd. Rain wasn't falling anymore but it was drip drip drippin' from the trees. Wore my thermal top and beanie which proved to be too much as I was overheating by the halfway mark. Tried to hit the first mile in the 8s, second in the 7s and then run the rest of Old Coach to Biscuit City Rd at a fast clip. I'm happy with the paces I hit.
Thursday - Bryant Track - 7 milesPulled up to the Bryant University track and saw the girls field hockey team practicing at the track. Luckily they were grouped in the middle of the field and I wouldn't be bothering them (unless you count my huffing and wheezing as I ran by 'em.)
Warmed up for a mile running the grounds past the football and baseball fields. Ran 5 x 800 m with 400 m cooldowns. I wanted to run these at 5k race speed but I think most of 'em were at a 6:15 pace which is definitely faster than 5k speed. Oh well. Then I ran 4 x 400 m with 200 m cooldowns. These wore me out and I would have to walk for a few paces after I completed each one. The pace for these was 5:30 maybe? Not too sure - my watch wasn't set up for intervals so I would just glance occasionally at the "current pace" display as I ran. At any rate it felt like a good hard workout and that's what matters.
Friday - Fidelity Trails - 4.8 milesThis was a short trail run down a path I had only run once before. I took the wide trail that runs parallel to Hanton City Rd and then ran down an ATV trail that clearly gets a lot of use. Nice and wide but I still managed to roll my bad right ankle on it - it hurt for a moment but I was able to keep running. The ATV trail eventually leads behind a giant water tank on Rocky Hill Rd. The ATV trail actually kept going to the north but since I had no idea where it would lead I left that for another day.
A backtracked a few 100 yards to a single track dirt bike trail I had run before. Much more rocky and technical than the previous trail. And the leaves on the ground made locating the correct route difficult at points. It leads back to familiar trails and then I jumped on Hanton City "Rd." It's actually a wide open dirt roadish trail with lots of hills - it has the feel of running under power lines (there's a gas line along this trail.) This was fun running until I rolled my bum ankle again on a downhill section. This time was more painful and I took it easy running the rest of the way back to my car.
I should stay out of the wet woods for a while and let my ankle heal up but it's hard not to take advantage of these fall mornings.
Sunday - Beach & Roads - Charlestown, RI - 16.8 milesLast weekend I opted to head west and run the hillier roads near Burlingame. This weekend I decided to hit the beach. Left at 6 AM with my headlamp - beautiful stars overhead. By the time I reached the Charlestown Town Beach the sky was beginning to grow light. I hadn't considered the tide when planning this route but it cooperated and there was plenty of packed damp sand for me to run on.
I ran four miles on the beach from the Charlestown town beach to the South Kingstown town beach. Only at Green Hill did I have to jump on the road for a moment as the tide was up to the rocks at the parking lot. On the far side of Green Hill I was ambushed by a sea of smooth round stones. They came in all sizes, were tough to run on and really challenged my weak right ankle. Eventually they petered out and the rest of my beach run was smooth and without incident. Beautiful sky over Point Judith as I left the sand.
Unfortunately as I turned onto Matunuck Beach Road I began to experience some internal strife. All the crap I had eaten over the weekend was coming back to haunt me. The next few miles were unpleasant. I will spare you the details but let me say this: they are doing construction on the Tuckertown fire station and the port-o-let there was a welcome sight.
Renewed, I turned onto Wordens Pond Rd. I had created a segment for this road a while ago but I rarely run it as it's kind of out of the way. Today, I was feeling good and wanted to set a new CR on it. I began increasing my pace and when I hit the big hill before Camp Jori I ran even faster. I was moving at a good clip by the time I reached Shannock and really pleased that I was able to find another gear after having run 11.5 miles. I feel like I'm at a really great place with my running right now.