Monday - Ryan Park - North Kingstown, RI - 6.1 milesAlthough I have to work on Christmas Eve which is crap I made the best of it by stopping at Ryan Park and running work. I thought this would be a good opportunity to run the upcoming Belleville Pond 10k course (South County 4th Season race #3.) Pulling into the park I saw a group of about six women in the middle of the lot. They took off running into the park as I was getting ready. On the trails I encountered several people walking dogs including a couple running with their canine. Ryan Park is apparently a popular spot, even on cold mornings.
I did a pretty good job of remembering the course considering it's been a year. I think I took a wrong turn after the sand dunes because the trail didn't look familiar. It took me down past a marshy area that I didn't remember from the race. But it eventually led to the old railbed section so I probably hit at least 90% of the course in the end.
Tuesday - 0 milesMerry Christmas! It was filled with family, food and fun. Lots of pie, good beer and my mother-in-law's devilish peanut butter balls.
Wednesday - Smithfield, RI - 6.9 milesTime to work off those peanut butter balls. I decided to stick to roads today so I did a big loop up in Smithfield. This did involve a short trail section at the beginning for which I was very happy - it was wonderful out there in the woods. There was a light covering of snow on the ground and small frozen pools of water everywhere. Very pleasant running in this cold winter environment.
After the trail section, I jumped onto Rocky Hill Rd - a wide, quiet road with a couple good hills. The roads weren't as enriching as running in the woods but I wanted an even surface for today's run to give my janky foot a break. It doesn't hurt or anything but I don't want to overdo the trail running. Other than a few icy spots the roads were uneventful. I was wearing my thermals and thought I'd also need my fleece vest but it proved to be overkill as I was overheating for the last couple miles.
Thursday - Smithfield, RI - 6 milesAb Ripper X (20 minutes)
My plan was to get in a track workout at Bryant. It had been raining all night but it was supposed to start tapering off by 8 AM so I figured it wouldn't be too bad for running. Once I pulled into the Bryant parking lot I realized my plan was flawed. There was an inch of slush throughout the parking lot and just as much on the track. My feet were soaked within 30 seconds and I realized the track workout was not going to happen.
So instead I just started to run through the Bryant campus, trying to find walkways which were clear of slush and ponds. After a few minutes I opted to leave campus on one of the side roads and just run. It was hard to avoid water as it was pooling all over the place so I just plowed through. A ran a few miles to the Smith Appleby House - just a couple historic buildings and a barn.
As I turned around it began to pour. So much for it tapering off. The water finally breached my rain jacket and I was drenched for the return trip. Despite the awful conditions I was actually enjoying myself. I'm sure the passing motorists were amused by this crazy asshole running in the rain with a big smile on his face. Near the end my hands were really starting to get cold so I was happy when I finally made it back to my car.