Thursday, November 29, 2012

Weekly Log: 11.26.12 - 12.2.12

Monday - Smithfield, RI - 4.1 miles

Just a short run on the paths around the Fidelity campus.  I'm kind of bored with these paths but since I'm staying out of the woods and the surrounding roads were pretty busy with morning rush hour I just stuck to the local route I knew.  Next week I should have more time to run - I'd like to explore some new roads up here.

Tuesday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X - 20 minutes
4 x 15 push-ups

Wednesday - 0 miles

X Stretch - 60 minutes.  This is the P90X stretching video.  I want to incorporate stretching/yoga sessions into my workout schedule to improve flexibility and decrease risk of injury.

Thursday - Bryant Track - Smithfield, RI - 7.4 miles

I wanted to do a ladder workout today but my inexperience with this type of speed session hindered the quality.  This workout definitely wasn't as challenging as it should have been.

Today's interval session was a 400 / 800 / 2 x 1200 / 800 / 3 x 400 (I added two 400s at the end since I wasn't taxed.)  I ran 'em at a 6:30 pace after reading that all the different distances should be run the same in order to improve pace performance.  I figured a 6:30 pace would be challenging for the 1200s but I was wrong.  I didn't find it particularly difficult to maintain that pace throughout the workout so I should have made 'em all faster.  I sped up for the last 400 and then added two more since I didn't feel like I worked that hard today.

On the plus side I'm planning on running the Newport 10k in a few weeks.  I'm looking at running around a 6:30 pace (which inspired the pace for this workout) so I feel confident I should be able to maintain that pace and then some for the race.

I just looked up my potential 10k time using the VDOT calculator and my FOP 5k time of 18:42.  It says my 10k time should be around 38:52.  That seems pretty optimistic and would mean I would be running 6:15 splits.  I probably should have used that time for my intervals instead.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5 miles

5 x 15 push-ups
Ab Ripper X - 20 minutes

I had a dream last night that I was running on a long rocky trail.  It was a steep downward descent and in the distance the glistening ocean awaited me.  The sun was shining and the marvels of nature were everywhere.  Then I remembered I wasn't supposed to be running on trails, turned around and woke up.

My dream run came back to me as I was running the Fidelity paths that border the vast network of dirt bike trails.  They were tempting but I stayed the course - I think my ankle is getting stronger and I mean to keep it that way.  I tried to push the pace on a steep hill segment to make up for yesterday's sad track effort.  Otherwise I just ran the same old paths I've run many a time before.

Not a particularly memorable run but a good workout day overall. 

Saturday - 0 miles

Sunday - 0 miles

I had planned on a long run today.  But the top of my foot was achy, I had to load up the fire and get it cooking and my daughter woke up earlier than usual.  All good enough excuses for me to bow out for the weekend.   I felt a little odd taking the entire weekend off from running but I think it was good to give my feet a break.

Weekly mileage: 16.6 miles


Year to date: 1,161.6 miles

Friday, November 23, 2012

Weekly Log: 11.19.12 - 11.25.12

I'm going to change up my weekly log up a bit and start mentioning any other forms of exercise that I do during the week.  I generally only run 3-4 days a week so I try to include other activities on those days I don't run.  It helps with my overall fitness and I think it makes me a better runner.

Monday - 0 miles

Tuesday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X - 20 minutes.  My buddy lent me this video from his P90X series.  It's a 20 minute core workout which has some brutally tough moves (at least for me.)

Saw my primary care doc about my ankle.  Since I can walk and run (on even surfaces) without pain, he didn't think it was a stress fracture.  Likely my ligaments in my foot are just stretched out from rolling it so many times.  This creates a chain reaction - my loose ligaments mean I'm more likely to roll my ankle which makes them looser still.  He says that so long as I can run without pain I'm fine to keep running.  I'm going to get an X-ray done and then see a Ortho sports doc in a few weeks to get an expert opinion.

So I'm going to ease back into road runs in a few days.  But I'm staying of the woods for awhile.  In fact, let it be known that I will not run on a trail for 3+ weeks!  The trail run moratorium will last until at least Wednesday, December 12th.  I know I've made proclamations like this in the past but this time I mean it damnit!  If all goes well perhaps I'll still be able to run the Old Mountain 5k.

Wednesday - 0 miles

Thursday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X - 20 minutes. 
30 Day Shred workout video - 20 minutes.  Man, my upper body strength is sad. 
6 miles on Amanda's bike to get some cardio in.  Sadly I really don't know the gears on a bike work and she told me afterwards that I was in the wrong gear for going up hill.  No wonder my thighs felt like I surgically grafted 2x4s into them.  I am a bicycle noob.

I then had a delicious Thanksgiving meal of delights with my wife's family in Jamestown followed by a short walk before attacking the dessert spread.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 4.1 miles

My first run since my blunders at Li'l Rhody.  Throughout the week my right foot has felt achy at times but never painful.   Today was just a short run around the Fidelity campus.  Foot felt sore and uncomfortable for a while but otherwise okay.

Saturday - 0 miles

Did some wood choppin' late in the day.  An honest way to spend an hour as the sun sets and dusk settles in.

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 13.2 miles

It was light out by the time I left so I didn't need to worry about a headlamp.  I wanted to keep it at an 8 minute pace but after a few miles I ended up settling into around 7:45 miles.  I felt good and didn't feel like I was working hard so I stuck with it.

This is a good loop that took me past Worden's Pond, down Ministerial and then back towards Old Coach Rd.  After seeing Jonny's recent post about a possible mountain lion sighting in DuVal trail, I went into this long run ready for combat.  I carried my pocket knife in the key storage of my running glove.  If the beast showed itself we were going to throw down.  Sadly it was a no-show.

As I proceeded back down Old Coach I saw that I was going to hit half-marathon distance and that I was closing in on my 13.1 PR.  I pushed the pace on the last mile and ended up getting a new PR (according to Garmin) of 1:42:45 - 40 seconds better than last month's effort.  I'm eyeing the March Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon in Matunuck as an opportunity to smash my 1/2 PR.  1:35 perhaps?

No pain whatsover in my foot during or after this long run which is excellent news.  The trail moratorium continues!

Weekly mileage: 17.3 miles

Year to date: 1,145 miles

Monday, November 19, 2012

Li'l Rhody Runaround

Official time: 1:04:59.  89th place of 285.

I had been looking forward to running this race ever since I heard about it last year.  It's a shame that it's the same days as the Mews 5k, a favorite race of mine.  My Mews obligations prevented me from running it last year so this year I was looking forward to taking Rhody on.  I've put in a lot of miles this year and run a lot of trails.  I have officially joined the Westerly Track & Athletic Club and this is their signature event so I wanted to put on a good showing. 

I arrived early with plenty of time to spare and chatted with some WTAC folk.  There were lots of people and everyone had to wear orange due to hunting season.  Did a short warm-up by myself and changed into my trail shoes and shed my hats 'n gloves.  Lined up near the front of the line because one mile in the course turns to single track and if you're too far back it becomes a total logjam of people.  I felt good and was ready to run it hard. 

Unfortunately it turned into a complete shitshow.

For your entertainment, I shall break this race down mile by mile.

Mile 1 - Took off way too fast.  We're 30 seconds into the race and I'm ahead of Jonny and Jeff.  That's not right.  Eased off a bit and watched the speedy folks go by.  Balance restored.  A minute into the race my friggin' heart monitor strap slips from my chest and drops to my hips.  I try to put it back into position and tighten it - I'm sure I look like a fool messing around with it while I'm running and eventually I let it go.  Now I've got a heart rate belt.  People are going by me and I'm trying to ease off more but my Garmin still says I'm running at a 6:00 minute pace.  Too fast but I'll be running slower in the woods and I fear the logjam.  As I'm about to hit the single track I glance around at the runners moving in ahead and behind me and I roll my janky right foot.  Badly.

Mile 2 - I enter the single track to stabbing pain in my right foot.  Sweet christ that hurts!  I'm hobbling and trying to maintain my pace because there's a train of people behind me.   As I leave the single track and enter Burlingame campground the pain has subsided and my normal gait has returned.  I ease off the pace a bit more because we've got a long way to go.  People are passing me but I'm confident I'll see 'em again once we enter the woods.

Mile 3 - The initial pain of my foot is gone but stepping onto the foot bridges and on certain rocks is aggravating it.  It doesn't feel good.  I'm starting to favor my left foot and beginning to avoid landing on suspect areas with my right.  My pace is still good so far and hopefully if I can avoid turning it again I'll be able to salvage this run.

Mile 4 - I turn it again.  Not nearly as badly but enough to make me hobble for a few moments.  My pace is dropping and I'm beginning to step gingerly around the roots.  People are beginning to pass me.  There goes Jeff's kid.  At the water stop I actually stop for a moment and let some people go by me.

Mile 5 - The trail intermission on Buckeye Brook Rd allows me to pick up the pace a bit and settle into a more consistent rhythm.  For the last time I think that I may be able to pull myself together and finish this race strong.  Once I reenter the woods, the terrain begins to finish me off.  I try to stay with the group in front of me but the terrain is too rocky, too rooty and I ease off to avoid turning my foot again.

Mile 6 - The uphill section before you cross the dirt road to North Camp is where the wheels finally come off the wagon.  I've now got a visible limp as I run and people are passing me left and right.  Well, just left as I'm stepping to the side and letting them go by.  I probably should just stop at this point but how would I get back?  Might as well soldier on as best I can.  I walk a bit then run.  Walk then run.

Mile 7 - This is just misery now.  My foot hurts.  People are passing me in waves.  I step aside, let 'em pass and then continue with my hobble-jog until the next batch approaches.  I knew from last weekend's recon that this last section of trail would be the most challenging for me.  But now it seeks to undo me completely.  I'm stepping over these rocks with extreme care.  People appear to me to be flying over these death rocks without fear and I secretly loathe them.  When I finally see the house at Cool Spring Rd I know this hell will soon be over.

Mile 8 - The last mile of this loop is on paved road and I've never been more thankful for it.  The pain of my foot eases as soon as I hit the road and while I could probably push the pace I don't have it in me.  Mentally, I'm toast.  I run along at a 7:30 pace.  A few more people pass me but whatever.  I'm happy to see my wife and daughter as I cross the finish line.  I limp over to them afterwards and regale them with my tale of woe.

So in the end my right foot was my undoing.  I've weakened it over the past few months by continuing to run in the woods, subjecting it to pain and stress.  I haven't given it a chance to heal properly and today I paid the piper.  Oh, it was a large bill!

I go to the doctor on Tuesday for my yearly physical and mean to find out just what is wrong with my foot and how bad the damage is.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Running Log: 11.11.12 - 11.18.12

Monday - Smithfield, RI - 7.1 miles

The rest of the family was off for Veteran's Day but poor Seth had to work.  At least I got to head up early and get a longish run in.  There were a couple of hilly segments I had a desire to capture but otherwise I just wanted to run.  I discovered a new little park called the Mowry Conservation Area.  There's a beautiful stream that runs through the entrance to this park.  It held a couple short trails through a pine forest.  I left the marked trails to explore some ATV trails but they seemed to all lead to houses so I opted to just finish the marked route. 

Then it was segment time.  Both the segments featured major hills.  The first was steeper but the second one was longer.  I really pushed the pace on both of 'em and felt the exhaustion when I got to the top.  I felt confident that I snagged both of them and it was confirmed when I got home.  Overall this was a great run and the hills were a tough, satisfying workout.  The only negative was the amount of time I spent on the Douglas Pike running against morning traffic.

Thursday - Bryant Track - 6 miles

I decided to do 8 x 400 today which I stole from Jonny's blog which he stole from Mike G's blog.  Circle of life.  200 m cooldown between each one.  It was cold out there and windy at times but once the 400s started I warmed up.  2 mile warm-up and maybe 1.5 mile cooldown.  The last couple 400s were tough but I felt great when they were all done.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 6.9 miles

This is a fun loop I've done before.  From the Fidelity parking lot, I headed into the woods and took the well worn trail parallel to Hanton City Rd until it reaches Rocky Hill Rd.  Some sections of the trail are pretty rocky so I tread carefully - I wanted to avoid any more snafus with the ankle before Sunday's race.  I ran the entire length of Rocky Hill Rd, which is a quiet road with some nice houses.  Then I take the Providence and Douglas Pike back to Fidelity.  It was a little later in the morning so traffic wasn't as bad.  I tried to keep the pace slow but I'm finding that my easy pace on shortish runs is in the 7s which is promising.

Looking forward to Li'l Rhody Runaround on Sunday!

Sunday - Li'l Rhody, Runaround - Charlestown, RI - 9.6 miles 

This did not go well.  Seperate write-up.

Weekly mileage: 29.7 miles

Year to date: 1127.7 miles

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Running Log: 11.5.12 - 11.11.12

Monday - Charlestown, RI - 6.5 miles

Okay, so my running hiatus only lasted four days.  And my right foot still hurts if I put pressure on the outside of it.  But actually running on it doesn't hurt so I got back to it.

I had the day off from work so I did some painting in the house.  I got a late afternoon run in before the sun went down (damn you DST!)  Took Old Coach Road to the Narragansett Trail.  The pine tree damage in this area from Sandy is pretty crazy.  The trees just seemed to have shattered.  The trail had lots of small debris on it but nothing major save for one big tree I had to duck under.  From there I took the dirt road up to Route 2.

Once on Route 2 I began to pick up the pace.  I think my body was feeling the reserves after four days off.  A quick 6.5 run to start off the week.

Thursday - Slushy Fidelity Paths - Smithfield, RI - 4.4 miles

Got a short run in before work on this cold, windy morning.  The nor'easter was still blowing through Rhode Island but I wanted to get out there for a bit.  Not too much rain but it sure was windy at times.  The paths around the Fidelity buildings were clear but as I ventured farther away from the grounds they became pretty slushy.  I had my trail shoes on and was enjoying plodding through the deeper parts.  I'm glad I had my hat and gloves but I probably overdressed by wearing both a windbreaker and track pants.

Friday - Bryant Track and Trails - Smithfield, RI - 6.3 miles

I was planning on a track workout yesterday but with the weather I opted to push it until today.  I meant to do 1 x 1200 / 3 x 800 / 5 x 400.  I did the 1200 & 800s at about a 6:15 pace.  I had donated blood yesterday and they warn you not to do anything strenuous for 24 hours.  This run was about 17 hours after I donated and I definitely felt the effects - I was pretty spent after the 2nd 800.  I managed to get through the third 800 but I was exhausted and opted to forgo the 400s and just take it easy for the rest of the workout.  I ran the old cross country trail behind Bryant and even that I found taxing at points.  In retrospect I probably should have taken it easy today.

Once at work I diligently went about filling myself with foodstuffs to replenish my weakened body.

Saturday - Black Farm - Hopkinton, RI - 4.2 miles

I had an hour to kill while my daughter was at dance practice so I decided to drive 3 minutes down the road and check out Black Farm Management Area, provided the place wasn't infested with hunters.  No cars in the lot when I got there so I headed out.

Lots of pine trees and lots of roots poking out of the trail.  Luckily it's easier to see the roots when covered by pine needles rather than leaves.  As you can imagine there was lots of pine brush on the trails from Sandy but I only saw one major tree in the path.  I passed a quaint pond apply titled Plain Pond and then hit the abandoned railway line with offered a straight shot in either direction.  I took it north until it seemed to approach a neighborhood and then turned around and took it south until it ended at Wood River.  I had to stop at the remnants of the train bridge because all that's left is the cement.  The bridge itself is long gone.

I took a different trail back to Plain Pond - on the way I stopped at a small cemetery.  Many of the tombstones were difficult to make out but one had clearly been maintained well.  It belonged to a 16 year old boy who was aboard the U.S. Eastport in 1863 (I think.)  I always appreciate it when people put flags at the graves of long dead veterans and it was touching to see the care someone paid this young sailor.

Sunday - Burlingame - Charlestown, RI - 9.2 miles

With L'il Rhody Runaround next weekend I wanted to get one more run here to get a final feel for the course and survey the damage from Sandy.  From the get-go, Sanctuary Rd showed plenty of damage and the short trail section between Sanctuary and the campground confirmed that much work had been done to make it passable.

Once I was past the camp and the Vin Gormley began in earnest I saw that the damage continued to be significant.  Plenty of big trees down and much had clearly been done to remove the biggest mamma-jammas from the path.  This area with the many bridges is pretty swampy so it would have been tough to go around them.

As the trail heads to higher and dryer ground, there are several large trees that will need to be conquered.  Some can be jumped over.  Others already have new substitute trails skirting them.  These rockier sections of the trail present other problems for me - the thick covering of fat leaves hides dangerous rocks.  With my shifty right ankle, I need to tread carefully on these passages.  One wrong step next weekend and profanity will be pouring from my mouth, offending man and beast alike.

A big thank you to Jeff Walker, the two Mikes and all the other people from WTAC or otherwise that have been out there working to make this trail passable.  Your hard work is appreciated!

Weekly Mileage - 30.7 miles

Year to Date - 1098 miles

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Running Log - 10.30.12 - 11.4.12

Tuesday - Smithfield, RI - 6.3 miles

Sandy came and went on Monday, knocking down smaller branches and leaving us without power since about 3PM on Monday but otherwise no worse for wear.  My wife is a fearsome planner and we were well situated to ride out the storm and the post-storm blackout.

The girls were all staying home again today but I was heading to the office so I opted to leave early and get a run in on the paths around Fidelity before work.  Big tree down on one section that I had to jump over and lots of wet leaves on the paths but otherwise no major debri. is hosting a 50 mile challenge this week.  This would be more than I've ever run in a week but I'm going to try to get it done.  I hope to hit the weekend with only 20 miles to go in order to make it doable.  We shall see.

Wednesday - Charlestown, RI - 6.2 miles

Still no power in Charlestown.  The entire town in out.  Getting up at 4:40 AM was easy thanks to a bright-ass moon and my cat jumping on me.   My headlamp has gotten more use indoors than out lately. 

The temperature was in the 50s and quite pleasant to run in.  Pretty quiet out there save for the occassional generator running.  I just took it easy and ran the local steets, checking out some of the downed trees.  Nothing major.  Saw power company guys working on a pole near the dump.  Maybe we'll have power when we get home tonight.  I'm not hopeful though.  My right foot was feeling sore through the second half of the run - hopefully it's nothing major.

Thursday- No Mo Runnin' For a Bit

Came home from dinner with friends last night to find that we finally had power restored.  Huzzah!  However my right foot was feeling a little "off" after yesterday's run.  I could feel a dull soreness running through it most of yesterday and again this morning when I woke up.  I've made the decision to take a break from running at least through the weekend.  Perhaps longer if needed.   It's still a few weeks until Lil Rhody and I want to let my feet heal up so I can make a good attempt at it.  It's a bummer but I know it's the right thing to do.

Weekly Mileage - 12.5 miles

Year to Date - 1067.2