Monday - Smithfield, RI - 6 milesMy original plan was to run at Ryan Park after dropping Ez off at daycare. I figured that since it was a popular place the snow might be packed down enough on the main trails. However the main lot wasn't plowed and the smaller lot on Oak Hill Rd wasn't much better. I decided just to head to work and run the paths around Fidelity.
They had taken a snowblower to the main path that connects all three buildings so I basically just ran that back and forth. I attempted to "run" through an unplowed section of path but it was laughable. I might as well have been running through pudding. After that I stuck to the path.
Tuesday - 0 milesI was clearing my car off after the storm on Saturday and I flung a branch that was on the roof. Somehow that motion tweaked my left wrist enough to hurt it. It still doesn't feel good and certain movements (like turning a door knob) cause pain. Perfect. No P90X for a while. At least it won't affect my running!
Wednesday - North Kingstown, RI - 4.7 milesAttempt # 2 at Ryan Park. I arrived to find that the main lot had been plowed. Still very icy but at least there was parking now. Strapped on my lightweight New Balance MT20s and the Yaktrax and off I went. Rain and sun had packed down the snow so it wasn't like the thick mush I tried to navigate on Monday. Crunchy and not too deep.
I headed down the Root run but it was slow going. All the bushes were caved inward on the trail, making it difficult to step over or under them. There were two large trees that had to be climbed over - looks like their top halves just splintered during the storm. Root run wasn't much fun due to the amount of debri but once the trail opened up it was clear. I noticed snowshoe and cross country ski tracks but I was still breaking through the snow regularly.
Up on the railbed there was evidence of more traffic. Big footprints and snowmobile tracks. About a mile into the run I made the poor decision to run over an iced puddle. My right foot went right in - cold! I passed through the Lafayette parking lot and out onto the open trails on the west side of the park. Lots of snowmobile activity here that made for easier running. Still, my foot would break the snow every fourth or fifth step which was aggravating. I think it's almost easier to run in sections where you're breaking the snow with every step - at least you're expecting it.
I briefly considered taking the road back to the main lot but decided to backtrack instead to extend the run. Once I got back to where the snowmobile tracks were replaced with snowshoe and skis it was tougher going but still nothing like Sunday's Sufferfest. Using the MT20s in the snow worked really well. Though I'm still easing into these minimal shoes, I didn't take a pounding since I was running on the snow. This was a fun winter run.
Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 9.5 milesIt occurred to me that I haven't been doing much running with purpose since the New Year's begun. Don't get me wrong - the 4th Season series has been great fun and the long group runs have been suitably epic. Additionally I've done snow runs all over the place that have really different and enjoyable. Basically I've been running for the joy of running and I've been fine with it. But with the Ocean's Run 1/2 only three weeks away, I thought that I'd better start to mix in some harder efforts if I'm to attempt my goal of sub 1:30 (yeah, I've already adjusted my 2012 Recap goal by 5 minutes. I think 1:35 won't be too difficult to hit. 1:30 will be a challenge.)
With this in mind, I decided to take advantage of a rare longer weekday run to try some tempo work. I wanted to warm-up for two miles, then run at a 1/2 marathon race pace of 6:50 for six miles. It became clear right away that my pacing skills are weak. I would go from 6:15 to 6:55 and everything in between. Here they are:
6:47 / 6:36 / 6:25 / 6:39 / 6:38 / 6:33
I found it tough to run at 6:50. My body seemed to want to either go faster or slower. I was really feeling the effort by mile 4 and turning onto Biscuit City Rd may not have been the wisest course as the hills really made for tough work. In the end, my splits were faster than I had intended however in a weird way it gave me confidence. If I can slow it down and actually hit a 6:50 pace consistently, I think I'll have a good chance to maintain that for 13.1 miles.
In other news, I signed up for my long race of the spring - the TARC 50k Spring Classic. This'll be my first ultra and with numerous WTAC folks participating it should make for a great event.
Friday - Smithfield, RI - 4 milesShort evening run after work on the Fidelity footpaths. Snow was compressed enough to run through, although it was hard work in spots. I jumped onto the road when the going got tough and then back into the snow when I was feeling feisty.
Saturday - 0 miles
Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 7 milesWe had a birthday party for Ezri last night and I kind of went overboard late night, eating cupcakes and ice cream like a fiend. I wanted to atone for my gluttony with a punishing workout and figured that trudging through the snowy trails of Burlingame would do the trick.
I parked on Buckeye Brook Rd and took the path down to North Camp. Ran into some snowshoers at the pond and I gladly followed their prints back to Vin Gormley - made for much easier travel. On VG, I ran into the same issue I had with the Ryan Park Root Run - lots of bushes bent over on the trail. Lots of ducking and dodging involved. I was breaking through the snow here and it was tough going.
When I reached Sammy C's trail I was really feeling the effort and considered taking the road back but I really wanted to keep to the woods. I jumped on Sammy C's and was congratulating myself for staying on the trail despite the lack of markings..until I had no idea where I was. I tried to bushwack further to find the trail but everything looked the same thanks to the snowy winterscape. I smartened up and followed my footprints back to Vin Gormley.
I was getting tuckered out now and opted to jump onto King's Factory and take it back to my car. I tried to push the pace to keep myself honest but I began to run out of steam when the going got hilly. I blame the ice cream and cupcake binge.