Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weekly Log: 1.28.13 - 2.3.13

Monday - 0 miles

Calf doesn't feel awful but rest can only help it.  I've been reading that achilles trouble can often be triggered by a large increase in hill workouts.  I think that may have been the culprit as I followed up the Big River sufferfest a few weeks back with two pretty tough hill workouts, including my now infamous "House Loops."  I'm pretty sure the House Loops were the trigger for my current ailment.  Introducing two pairs of minimalist shoes into my arsenal probably didn't help either (I only ran 3 miles in each of 'em but still.)

I'm going to lay off the running until this weekend (probably) and keep up with the stretching and foam rollin'.  Even though it's just an internet contest I'm disappointed that I won't be hitting 125 miles for the month on Strava.  So it goes.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest & Back (60 minutes)

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (60 minutes)

It's 10 AM and I'm really starting to feel the soreness from yesterday's Chest & Back routine.  It's a great workout - all push-ups and pull-ups.  By tonight my upper body will feel like cement.  But in a good way.  I had a great Yoga workout this morning.  I really tried to focus and hang low in all the moves.   I can feel a little twingling (new word?) in my calf as I sit at my desk but it doesn't bother me as I'm walking around or doing these P90X routines.  My plan is to do another strength workout tomorrow and then hit the roads on Friday.

Thursday - 0 miles

P90X Shoulders & Arms (60 minutes)

First time doing this routine.  It wasn't too bad but I probably didn't use enough weight for some of the moves.  I'm not really into curls and other upper body exercises so I can't say that this was one of my favorite workouts but strengthing the shoulders should help with my pull-ups/push-ups so I'll try to do this workout every once and a while.  I'm looking forward to getting a run in tomorrow morning.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5.8 miles

It was finally time to hit the trails again.   I drove up to work early and hit up the many trails behind Fidelity.  I took it slow as the terrain was rocky and the ruts from the dirt bike tracks were frozen solid.  No issues from the calf which was encouraging.  I followed some of my favorite trails and even discovered a new one that was a lot of fun.   The video from Muddy's blog made me feel very fortunate to be out there.  The little streams were frozen over and I could still see water and bubbles flowing underneath the ice.  I thought of all the sad sacks already in the office and I was very pleased to be out there.

Looking forward to a big group run tomorrow morning near my house.

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 15.6 miles

A bunch of folks were doing a run of the DuVal trail this morning but they were keeping it short in anticipation of the Super 5k tomorrow.  Since I wasn't running the race, I opted to run to and from DuVal in order to make it a long run.  It was cold starting out at 5:45 AM but I warmed up soon enough and it got lighter as I ran the roads to Perryville.  Met up with a whole lotta WTAC folks as well as Aaron Rome and his friendly dog.

We followed the DuVal trail at an pace and then took the Sand Plains Trail over to Gravelly Hill Rd.  The Fullers were looking to run longer so while everyone else headed back to DuVal, I took them over to run the Browning trail.  After running it once, they decided to run it another time and I opted to head back to the roads and homeward.  A fun run all around and the calf didn't give me any trouble which was great.

Sunday - 0 miles

No running for me today but the family headed to Narragansett as Amanda was running the Super 5k along with a ton of other WTAC members.  She set a huge PR of 27:56!  We didn't stay for the awards as it was nap time and Ezri was beginning to bonk but it looked like the WTAC fellowship had a huge day on the road.

Weekly Mileage: 21.4 miles

Year to Date: 135.8 miles

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weekly Log: 1.21.13 - 1.27.13

Monday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

Meh.  I should have taken Aaron Rome up on his e-mail and hit the Duval trail early in the AM.  Instead I figured I'd squeeze a run in later in the day but you know how that goes.  Soon enough the snow and sun are falling and my run chances are gone baby gone.  On the plus side I bought a pair of New Balance MT20 minimus trail shoes on clearance at Sports Authority.  So I got that going for me.  Which is nice.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (40 minutes)

I was up at 4:30 AM and had briefly considered running in the snow but it seemed pretty deep and I wasn't sure how far I'd get.  Once I realized I needed to shovel the deck and load up the fire, I abandoned that notion and opted for some P90X a little later in the morn.  But my elbow began to hurt 2/3 of the way through so I thought it best to finish early.  Double MEH.

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Core Synergistics (50 minutes)

Three zeros in a row?  I know, I know.  I was going to get up at 4:30 AM and try to get in a few miles but it was cold, so cold outside and I just couldn't get out of bed.  Somewhere nearby the Gazelle was shaking his head and looking down on me with contempt.

Finally got up at 5 and willed myself to do a new P90X routine - Core Synergistics.  I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit and I'm already feeling the effects.  Had to skip the last ten minutes as Ezri woke up but I'll be doing this one again.  Tomorrow I'll run, no matter how cold!

Thursday AM - Ryan Park - North Kingstown, RI - 7 miles

After three days off I was itching to get out and run, no matter how cold.  I opted to test out the snowy conditions at Ryan Park with the Belleville 10k only a few days away.    I bundled up as best I could - two pairs of socks and two pairs of gloves with those little hand warmers sandwiched between the gloves.  Strapped on the Yaktrax and off I went.

My feet were cold (and would remain so for much of the run) and my hands weren't too bad for which I was thankful.  But my face was frigid two minutes in and that was going to be a problem (I got a bandanna thingy from last year's NipMuck which would have been perfect but the hell if I know where I put it.)  I had on my compression clothes, a neon yellow tech shirt and my fleece vest.  I took off the tech shirt and made a half-assed balaclava out of it.   I looked insane but it did the trick - face was warm.  I need to figure out where I put that NipMuck thingy.

The snowy trails were packed down from lots of foot traffic but as I approached the rolling singletrack that runs alongside Route 4, there was but a single set of single set of footprints.  I studied them closely.  Unless my keen eyes were mistaken, these were the tracks of one Jonathan Cornelius Hammett!  It appeared he had been running in New Balance MT10s.  I followed the ghost of Jonny as he led me through the undulating hills and back past the power lines.

Here the foot traffic picked up again and I followed the tracks past the western parking lot and back into the woods.  I could still pick out the tracks of Ghost Jonny from time to time and I wanted to see if I could pick out where the potential new route for the 10k would be.  Ghost Jonny led me down a trail I had explored on my last visit.  This pleased me as this trail is a lot of fun and would be a great addition to the 10k route. 

By the time I was heading back down the railbed my feet were no longer cold but my elbows were really chilled.  My fingers were also starting to freeze up and I was happy when I made it to the end of the 10k course.  I ran a bit more just to even it out to 7 miles and then I jumped in the car to warm up.  The chocolate/peanut butter/banana protein shake that was waiting for me was top notch indeed!

Thursday PM - Smithfield, RI - 3 miles

Did a short run after work on the paths around Fidelity to try out my new New Balance Minimus MT20s.  I really enjoyed running in them.  Definitely felt much lighter than my Brooks Cascadias which are tanks by comparison.  My calf was starting to get tight midrun which was a bummer.  I'm not sure if it was because of the shoes or just because my calf is janked up.  Either way I'm going to be careful not to overdo it with the MT20s since they are minimalist shoes with very little cushion or heel drop.

Friday - Smithfield, RI Trails - 6 miles

Ran the trails near Fidelity before work.  It wasn't as cold as yesterday and my extremities weren't chilled.  I found my NipMuck Buff headwrap thing this morning and it worked like a charm to keep my face warm!  I've only run this particular trail once before but it's a great loop that features lots of turns, streams and large rock formations.  There wasn't a ton of snow and the Yaktrax weren't necessary.  I applaud the dirt bikers who made this singletrack because it is a lot of fun to run.  Unfortunately my janky calf/achilles began to ache midway and it never really improved.  I'm not sure what's wrong with it but I'm going to just rest/ice/foam roll it for now and hopefully it will be alright for the Belleville 10k on Sunday.  Just when my right ankle is finally feeling good, my left leg goes to shit!

Saturday -  0 miles

Well my lower calf didn't feel good after yesterday's run.  After researching online, it seems as though it may be Achilles Tendonitis which would suck.  But it would really suck if I kept running through the discomfort and the tendon snaps.  So I've decided to shut it down for a bit.  I'm disappointed at having to miss the Belleville 10k tomorrow but hopefully a bit of rest will be all I need so that I'm ready for the Brrr...lingame 10 miler.

Sunday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (60 minutes)

Weekly mileage: 16.1 miles

Year to Date: 114.4 miles

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Weekly Log: 1.14.13 - 1.20.13

Monday - Ryan Park - North Kingstown, RI - 6.5 miles

Sickness!  I woke up this morning and knew I was infected.  In truth, I could feel it working it's way through me last night.  I held out hope that my body would beat it back as I slept.  No such luck.  Woke up with a head cold and thought I might take a zero on the day.

Felt better once I was up and about with some coffee and grape nuts inside of me.  Stuck to my original plan: a nice easy run on the Belleville Pond 10k course.  I took it slow.  My legs felt fine at first but by mile 4 I was feeling the effects of yesterday's Big River adventure. Tried to follow the 10k course but like last time I took a wrong trail after the dirt bike mounds.  No worries - I enjoyed exploring a few new trails before heading back down the old rail bed.  I was feeling sporty and tried to push the pace during the root section to see if I can improve my Strava segment time.

Afterwards I felt great.  Head was clear and my hoarse throat was gone.  The healing power of running!  Alas the sickness returned once I reached the office (coincidence?)  I'm scheduled for P90X stuff the next two days so I may just take it easy and try to beat back this disease.

Tuesday - 0 miles

I got the Head Cold Bluuuuues.

Wednesday - 0 miles

I feel much better today.  Still a scratchy voice and a nagging cough but I think I'll be back on the run tomorrow.  My P90X time took a hit this week - forgive me Tony!  Looks like speed work on the track won't be happening tomorrow due to today's snow.  Maybe a brutal hill workout instead?  Hmmm.

Thursday - Wolf Hill - Smithfield, RI - 5.3 miles

Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

I felt much better after a few days off and was looking forward to another run in the snow.  My Thursday Track workout was cancelled due to snowfall so I opted to hit up Wolf Hill.  I figured that running up its many hills in the snow would provide a comparably honest workout.

The snow was nice and crunchy and about 1.5 inches deep for the most part.  Great for the Yaktrax.   I made a real effort to push it all the hills I encountered and it made for a tough run at times.  It was absolutely perfect out there.  The snow was just starting to melt off the trees in plops and as the sun rose in the sky everything just glistened. 

I did my usual Wolf Hill run, stopping at the quarry and Mercer lookout to take in the sights.  Some of the trails had man and dog prints but most had nothing but critter tracks.  It made for great running.

Friday - Charlestown, RI - 5.1 miles

FIOS guy was due at my house at some point in the morning.  Not wanting to leave the premises I opted to steal a page from the Jonny Hammett playbook and run the hills behind my house.  I've got a pretty good hill and there's a trail up there from when kids drove dirt bikes (they were an infestation we discovered when we moved in.  Luckily we were able to drive them off.)  I figured why let a good hill 'n trail go to waste?

The small loop ended up being about 1/4 mile.  I ran it a shitload of times in both directions for a total of five miles.  This actually proved to be a good workout as the hill became quite demanding towards the end.  The only negative was my neighbor's two dogs who ran up and barked at me every time I skirted their fence.

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 3.1 miles

P90X Stretch (60 minutes)

New shoe break-in run!  I bought a pair of New Balance 730 road shoes.  It has a lot less cushion and heel drop then my Asics Cumulus.  The NB 730 is not quite minimal but definitely trending in that direction. 

I took 'em out for a short run on the neighborhood streets.  They felt good but I was starting to feel 'em by the end.  I'm going to ease into these things because they'll certainly take some transitioning from my Asics cloud shoes.

My left calf was tight prior to and after this run.  If I jog up the stairs I can feel it tighten up slightly when I reach the top.  I think last Sunday's Sufferfest followed by this week's hilly trail runs has taken its toll.   I've been going back and forth all day but finally decided to back out of tomorrow's Pachaug run, as much as it pains me to do so.  Trying to run 2.5 hours in the woods with those fast hombres would probably do me in.   I still planning on running tomorrow but it's going to be local and probably on the roads.

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 12.3 miles

Long run on local roads.  Calf felt okay but my legs in general felt sluggish and tired.  I stuck to mostly paved roads but my travels took me up past the Carter Preserve and I couldn't help but jump on the trail to take me over to Route 112.  My pace started to slow towards the end as I just wasn't feeling it today.  Not a great run but I'm glad I got out there.

Weekly Mileage: 32.3 miles

Year to Date: 98 miles

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Weekly Log: 1.7.13 - 1.13.13

Monday - Johnston, RI - 7 miles

P90X Chest & Back (60 minutes)

After work I went to Town Fair Tire in Johnston to get my tires rotated.  Dropped the car off and hit the roads with my headlamp pulsing.  Don't hit me, motorists!  It actually wasn't a bad run - I've done the tire rotation/run combo a few times this year and I was able to stick to streets with sidewalks and neighborhood roads.  My road shoes had to contend with some ice/snow but for the most part the streets were clear and I was able to keep the pace snappy.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Plyometrics (60 minutes)

Wednesday - 0 miles

Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

Thursday - Bryant Track - Smithfield, RI - 7.4 miles

After doing P90X the last two days I was ready to get back to running.  I wanted to resume my Thursday track routine which had been sidelined for the last month by holidays and weather.  Not wanting to get too crazy after a hiatus from speed work, I opted for 6 x 800s with 400 jogs between each one.  Warmed up for 1.5 miles and was aiming to run 3 minute intervals.

2:58, 2:59, 2:55, 2:53, 2:48, 2:50

First two were right on the money and then I started to speed up a bit.  Guess it's better than slowing down.  I really tried to focus on listening to the rhythm of my footsteps to keep a steady pace - I am a musician after all - and I think this helped to keep my speed on each interval constant (even if I was speeding up on each one.)  My inner thighs were really sore from Tuesday's Plyometric routine.  I didn't notice during the 800s but man they ached during the 400s.  Overall I felt I gave a hard honest effort on the 800s so I'm satisfied with this workout.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5.2 miles

Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

This was a short run in the woods behind Fidelity.  I carried my Yaktrax but didn't need 'em as dirt bikers had already done the hard work for me, carving big grooves in the snow that exposed the dirt and rock beneath.  The last mile and a half were on the Fidelity paths - these actually proved the most treacherous as the snow had melted away leaving large sheets of slippery ice to navigate.

Saturday - 0 miles

Sunday - Big River Management Area - West Greenwich, RI - 15.7 miles

A group run was organized for Big River on Sunday.  I've never explored the east side of this vast area and the distance was just what I was looking for.  However I was told the pace would be "fast and hard" and it gave me pause.  Would I be able to keep up with these guys for the long haul?  Only one way to find out.

We met at 6:45 AM just off of Exit 6 on 95.  Mike G was leading the expedition and Jeff, Muddy, Tom and Aaron Rome were all in attendance.  It was 45 degrees but it felt colder.  I went with shorts and a short-sleeve tec shirt but I wore my gloves which proved wise.  We took off and it was pretty tough to see for the first mile but we came out onto a road for a bit and from then on visibility was fine.

The pace wasn't as bad as I feared and I wasn't having trouble keeping up with the pack.  But I wouldn't call it a conversational pace for me - I was definitely working pretty early into the run and didn't say much to anyone.  Mike shouted out the names of the trails as we went (Ken and Barbie, Sizzler, I See Dead People, etc.)  I had studied the map a bit so I recognized a lot of these names but I couldn't tell you where we were.

The New London Turnpike is an old dirt road that cuts through BR and Mike was kind enough to stash some snacks and water that we enjoyed about an hour into the run.  Then we ran alongside the boundary to some gun club.  They had barbed wire and warning signs along their land - no doubt they were busy preparing for the forthcoming revolution.

We ran on.  I recognized the Saw Mill Trail from my previous runs in BR but soon enough Mike led us back onto a singletrack trail called Elephant.  This was all uphill switchbacks and it wore me down.  But it ended at the fabled Lookout I had tried in vain to find on a previous trip.  It was all fogged in so sadly no views but there was a magical mailbox stuffed with candy courtesy of our friendly neighborhood mountain bikers.  I helped myself to some mini butterfingers.

Then it was some downhill running followed by uphill running followed by more running.   Mike told us that we'd be heading back towards the cars in a more straightward fashion from Lookout but there was still a lot of ground to cover.  I was definitely running out of gas and luckily Aaron was content to run at the same pace as myself.  We let the others tool on ahead and then would regroup at the end of each trail.

As we neared the parking lot Mike wanted us to check out a loop called Lollipop but it was voted down by a tired group of guys.  The last stretch was a bit of a slog - lots of mud and my form was starting to get a little sloppy.  Aaron and I reached the parking lot but the other guys were nowhere to be found - they decided to run down the road a little more because they are insane.

All in all an awesome run.  I didn't fall too far behind and I got to explore a huge area I've been wanting to check out.  Sorry I didn't talk too much - I was in survival mode!

Weekly Mileage: 35.4 miles

Year to Date: 66 miles

Monday, January 7, 2013

Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race

Official time: 20:11.  11th Overall out of 130.  5th in Age Group.

This was the second race in the South County 4th Season series.  It was held on Scarborough Beach in Narragansett and as the name suggests, it's half beach/half trail.  A chance for redemption for WTAC in the team competition against the Tuesday Night Turtles.  And a chance for Seth to prove his worth.  Woke up later than I intended and saw there was a fresh snow cover on the ground.  I still got to the beach with plenty of time to spare and was able to run the course as a warm-up with Jeff, Muddy, Tom and Aaron Rome  The trail section was packed down pretty well - nothing too icy - so I opted not to use the Yaktrax.

Race started a little late so we were all huddled like refugees trying to avoid the chilling wind.  Finally Galoob appeared and led us over to the starting line.  I was at the front of the line farthest from the water and when the siren went off I took off at a good clip - fast but in my estimation not too fast.  However due to the curve of the beach I couldn't see any of the other runners.  Finally I started to see the usual suspects appear on my right.  I reined it in a bit in order to fall in behind them and settled in to what was a tough but manageable pace on the sandy terrain.  We ran to the far end of the beach and circled around a flag.

As we made our way back past the starting line I was a few hundred yards behind the lead back and in No Man's Land.  Just me, Mark Walker and some other kid who zipped past us.   We entered the frozen trail and I pulled ahead of Mark in order to keep the other zippy kid in my sight.  I enjoyed running the trail section - the footing was fairly good and I could hear footsteps behind me the entire time.  The feeling of being hunted was constantly there.

At the end of the trail portion there's an old stone house that we ran through.  Nifty but the sharp corners really slowed everyone down.  As I approached the house I heard footsteps bearing down on me.  I sped up not wanting anyone to pass me.  Better they remain behind me through the house as we spilled out onto the beach immediately afterwards.

Back on the beach, the zippy kid wasn't too far ahead of me.  Beyond him, there was a turtle who appeared to be struggling.  The mystery of the footsteps was solved when Tom Gruczka passed me.  This is a front-of-the-pack guy so he was either hurt or just using this as a training run.  Either way, he eased off as we reached the stream that had to be jumped and I was able to pass him.  Approaching the finish now, zippy kid had passed the turtle and I was close to doing the same.  I summoned whatever power I had left and sped up to pass the turtle.  I was so close to Zippy now but I had used my reserves to pass the turtle and settled for finishing right behind Zip.

I was exhausted at the end - I don't have much experience running on sand (especially at a race pace) and trying to turn it on at the end in the sand proved difficult.  I'm very happy with my time and place though.  Ran the course for a third time with the WTAC crew as a cooldown and then refreshed with breads and drink.  Unfortunately those damn Turtles eked out another victory.  Redemption for WTAC will have to wait!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weekly Log: 12.31.12 - 1.6.13

Monday - South Kingstown, RI - 8.1 miles

Last run of the year and the first real "winter" run with snow on the ground.  When I told Amanda my intention of strapping on some Yaktrax and hitting the trails she looked at me like I was crazy and said, "you've never done this before, have you?"  True enough but there's a first time for everything!

I parked on Post Rd and meant to run the DuVal trail up to Red House Rd and back.  But I drove my wife's car and didn't realize that it could lock from the inside.  As soon as I stepped out of it I realized I had taken my car key off the ring instead of hers.  Locked out of my wife's car but at least I had all my running stuff on me.

So I started on the DuVal trail as planned.  The Yaktrax combined with my Brooks Cascadias worked great.  There were already several sets of foot/pawprints on the trail so it wasn't difficult running in the snow.  It was actually a lot of fun!  And the beautiful white environment was a joy to run in. 

At the end of DuVal trail, I jumped on Sand Plain Trail (actually a wide dirt road) began the trek back to my house.  The Yaktrax worked well on the plowed dirt road and worked fine on the paved roads as well (though I wonder if it's good to run on pavement with them.)  I hit up the land trust property on Old Coach which actually offered the most tiring running conditions of the day.  The snow was deep in places without a lot of previous traffic.

A great run to end the year - other than locking myself out of the car!

Tuesday - Burlingame - 9.1 miles

I wanted to start off the New Year with another run in the snow.  Burlingame seemed like a great choice.  I wasn't able to start until about 3:30 PM so I brought my headlamp figuring that the darkness would at least make the run interesting.  I started at the Watchaug Beach parking lot which was pretty iced over and ran the Vin Gormley in reverse.  I carried my Yaktrax for the first mile and put 'em on once I reached the trail.

Lots of evidence of fellow outdoorsmen.  I took Sammy C's trail and basically followed the route of two mountain bikers and their trusty canine.  I was paying so much attention to my feet that I didn't see some of the low hanging branches.  I got clotheslined by a brier branch and received a cut on my nose and a nasty scrape on my neck.  Soon after I jumped on Schoolhouse Pond trail and passed a group of five hikers, looking half-mad with blood running down my nose.

I saw the best sight of the run not long after.  Still on Schoolhouse Pond trail, the sky was bright orange as the sun sank behind the trees.  A beautiful sight I'm unaccustomed to as I don't often run in the woods at dusk.  I jumped back on Vin Gormley for the rest of the run.  Plenty of mountain bike tracks made the running easy and the Yaktax performed wonderfully.  No slippage whatsoever.  Lots of gunfire coming from North Burlingame.  I don't know what they were hunting but they sure shot the shit out of it.

It was getting pretty dark by the time I reached that tiny covered bridge and I had to be extra careful.  It was more mud than snow here and it was getting tough to see the roots and rocks even with the headlamp.  Running through the camp was fun as there was plenty of snow to plow through.  Overall a great winter run.  I've never had to run in these conditions before but the Yaktrax make it a lot of fun.  Sunday's Resolution 5k should be interesting for sure!

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (60 minutes)
Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

Thursday - Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve - Exeter, RI - 7.2 miles

I was going to do a track workout but figured the Bryant might be under snow (I'll have to verify and/or find another track to run on.  Or I could just drop the speed work for a bit.)   So back into the woods I would go!  But where?  I left the house with plenty of time to run before work but unsure of my destination.  I had sort of grudgingly accepted Wolf Hill in Smithfield when it occurred to me that there was a nature area in Exeter not far from where I was.  So I turned left onto Route 102 and lo!  Discovered the Cuttyhunk Brook Preserve.  Another winter wonderland to explore.  I strapped on the Yaktrax and off I went into the cold on the only marked trail here - the Yellow Loop trail.

The first quarter mile of trail was well traveled.  In fact it looked as if someone had taken a snowblower to it. Soon it splits and then the going became a little tougher.  Still several sets of footprints and paws to follow but I was working harder.  I hit the plowed "unimproved road" and decided to continue north on a less traveled trail.  The trail was wide open and there was but a single set of footprints to follow.  My hands were freezing and I was starting to have doubts about being out here.  Eventually the footprints ended and I continued on briefly before deciding to head back to more well worn paths.  So cold my hands!

I travelled down "unimproved road" and explored a side road that led to some crazy survivalist's property.  Went back and continued down "unimproved road" until I reached Stony Lane.  Turned around and found where the Yellow Loop trail reentered the woods.  My hands were finally starting to warm up and from this point on it was all gravy - following footprints along the Yellow Loop trail and exploring some side trails.  At one point I think I followed a hunter's footprints into the bush but otherwise I stuck to higher traffic trails.  Finished the Yellow Loop with time to spare so I ran it in reverse as well.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5.2 miles

Ab Ripper X (20 minutes)

Another day, another run in the snowy woods.  I started off on the Fidelity walking paths which showed no sign of human traffic, only lots of animal tracks.  Then off into the woods on my frequented trails.  Hunters and their offroad vehicles had made nice wide tracks for me to run in and I thank them for it.  I followed in their wake until the trail hit a stream bed at which point the vehicles had turned around.  Not I!  I continued but it became slow going as I was breaking through the snow and it was probably six inches deep.

I made my way along a singletrack which was quickly tiring me out.  Eventually I popped back out onto the main trail - the return of the jeep tracks were most welcome.  Then I jumped on Hanton City "Road," a dirt trail of rolling hills.  No jeep tracks but luckily there were some ATV tracks that I could run in, though they were days old and starting to get buried in snow drifts.  Still, the road was wide open and the bright sun refreshed me even as I was working hard.

This was a great week of trail running.  I wasn't sure how I would fare running in the snow but it turns out that I really enjoy it!  Definitely hard work at times but worth it.  I'm taking tomorrow off and looking forward to the Resolution 5k on Sunday.

Saturday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (45 minutes)

Sunday - Resolution 5k Beach & Trail Race - Narragansett, RI - 9.1 miles

Separate write-up here.

Weekly Mileage: 38.8 miles

Year to Date: 30.6 miles