Thursday, March 28, 2013

Weekly Log: 3.25.13 - 3.31.13

Monday - Smithfield, RI - 6 miles

Last week of March.  This year is flying by at a disturbing rate.  I don't anticipate it slowing down either.  I've races the next two weekends, followed by my birthday weekend, Amanda's birthday weekend and then TARC.  Let the madness continue unfettered!

I was really on the fence about today's run.  Should I stick to roads to increase my base or head to the woods and enjoy the run?  The trails won out and after more internal debate I settled on Wolf Hill.  I did my standard run here, hitting the various points of interest along the way - Mercer lookout, quarry and the powerlines.  I took some crappy pictures with my iPod that I'd like to share with you.

Power lines run through many of my favorite spots here in northwest RI 

Remnants of the Mercer Homestead 

View from Mercer Lookout - Providence in the distance 

Drive on 295 South between exits 7 & 8 and you've probably seen this trail. 

The quarry has a firepit in the center and lots of nooks to explore

The view of Smithfield from the quarry top is great!

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Legs & Back (60 minutes)

I love running in the New Balance MT20s but damn if my ankle isn't sore the next day.  I've been doing one weekly run in them of 4-6 miles.  I had considered skipping L&B but not seriously - this is a great workout that I mean to do weekly.  Ankle felt fine for most of the exercises.  I plan on continuing to use the MT20s but perhaps I'll shorten the runs.  Or at least stick to less hilly fare.

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Core Synergistics (60 minutes)

I had trouble sleeping last night and what sleep I did have was punctuated by Big River dreams.  At one point I'm running the 1/2 marathon and I'm following orange arrows on the trail.  The trail becomes steeper and steeper, with the woods encroaching all around.  Then I emerge in the basement of a church.  A really tiny church.  I try to backtrack but no matter which way I go I keep ending up in this church.  Eventually I found my way out and continued the race but I was really upset that I lost probably 20 minutes of time in this forest church.  I had other dream adventures in Big River but I don't recall them.

Big River draws nigh and we are all feeling its cosmic pull.

Thursday - Smithfield, RI - 13.7 miles

I was going to do a track workout this morning but my heart wasn't into it.  Instead I decided to do a longish run since I had some extra time.  I figured that Big River will serve as my speed work for the week.  I had scanned google/maps last night for an appropriately sized loop that used new Smithfield roads but our WiFi wasn't working this morning so I couldn't review the route or confirm the distance.  I was pretty sure the run would be 10-12 and fairly easy to navigate.

Turns out I was mostly right.  I parked at Bryant and ran down to Log Road, my new favorite road up here.  I took Log Rd to the end and then turned left - there appeared to be country roads that ran somewhat parallel to Log Rd.  One of them connected with Burlingame Rd which I could then take back to Bryant.  So I basically just bore left anytime the road split, hoping that eventually I'd see Burlingame Rd.  My plan worked.   These were beautiful country roads and there were large sections of nothing but fields and farms (there was also one massive field/pond surrounded by a huge fence.  I think they might be breeding velociraptors in Smithfield.)  At about the 10 mile mark, just as I was getting worried about finding my way back, Burlingame Road appeared and my return route was secure.  So the run ended up being a bit longer than I anticipated but it was very enjoyable.  There will be no tapering before Saturday's epicness - training for TARC is now in full swing!

Friday - Charlestown, RI - 6 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
20 push-ups x2 / 5 pull-ups x2 / 5 chin-ups x2

My plans of an early afternoon recon run in Big River were thwarted when my FIOS battery back-up crapped out and I had to be home for the FIOS guy between 1 & 5 PM.  I ended up just running the nearby roads while I waited for his phone call.  I didn't have much pep and had to drag myself out there.  The run improved as I went on and I'm glad I got out the door and got it done as FIOS guy didn't show up for several more hours.  Chopped some wood and made a big taco dinner with ground turkey which was well received by all.  A fine day.

Saturday - West Greenwich, RI - 16.2 miles

Big River 1/2 Marathon.  Separate write-up here.

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 4.5 miles

P90X Yoga X (40 minutes)

Short shakeout run to combat the soreness from yesterday's Big River adventure.  My calf is pretty sore from where a branch whacked me but otherwise I'm not too worse for wear.  Then off to Jamestown for an Easter feasting.

Weekly Mileage: 46 miles (New weekly PR!)

Year to Date: 424.8 miles

Big River was the obvious highlight of the week but I'm pretty pleased that I put two 13+ mile runs together within three days.  This was my highest mileage week to date and this was also my best month by far - 182 miles (besting October '12's 142.)  Hopefully I will keep this momentum going into April!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Weekly Log: 3.18.13 - 3.24.13

Monday - Smithfield/Johnston, RI - 10.1 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
25 push-ups x2
10 military push-ups x2

AM - 3 miles: Did a short run this morning on the Fidelity footpaths in my New Balance 730s.  These are lightweight minimal trainers and I haven't put many miles on 'em.  They definitely make me shorten my stride to avoid heel striking, that's for sure.  I enjoyed running in them at the time although I really felt it on the downhills.  Now, hours later I'm really feeling it in my calves/shins.  I'm not sure when I'd ever use these regularly - I'll probably give 'em a shot in a 5k at some point.

PM - 7.1 miles: My shins/ankles were feeling it from this morning's run but I planned to run after work in Johnston while my tires were being rotated.  I didn't want to miss it despite the soreness so I laced up the New Balance 890s - so much easier to run in that the 730s.  With the 730s I really need to focus on my form, gait and turnover.  With the 890s I just run. 

Running on the busy roads of Johnston is not my favorite thing so I try to chart courses on the least busy streets away from busy intersections.  I discovered a little network of trails nearby which a welcome surprise and then I jumped back on the roads to take a route that involved a goodly hill.  I wanted to run at a decent clip but I was surprised when I looked at the Strava later.  Three miles under 7 minutes and two just over.  A pretty decent pace and it barely felt like work.  I think these faster runs are really helpful - I need to push my pace more often.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Legs & Back (60 minutes)

Still have that shin/ankle soreness but I was really looking forward to this workout so I soldiered on anyway.  Soreness didn't seem to affect L&B and I got a great workout in.

Wednesday - 0 miles

I was going to do Yoga X this morning but I'm still feeling it in my ankles so I decided to take a rest day.  Major DOMS again from yesterday's Legs & Back.

Thursday - Smithfield/North Kingstown, RI - 12.7 miles

AM - 8.2 miles:: Spring my ass.  I drove up to Bryant University, snowflakes a fallin', intent on doing a track workout.  There wasn't snow on the track but big pieces of equipment were scattered throughout so I said to hell with it.  Plan B: Tempo Run on nearby Log Road.  I'd run four miles out then turn around.

It didn't start well.  I've still got a lot of DOMS from Tuesday's squat/lunge party and my legs felt tired.  I also picked up the pace too early, hitting a 6:30 pace 1.5 miles into the run.  The next few miles were difficult.  Keeping the pace under 7:00 wasn't easy, especially with the hills on Log Rd, and I didn't feel like I was moving very fast or very well.

One I hit the turnaround everything changed immediately.  I'm not sure if it was the mental relief of knowing that I was on my way back but suddenly I found fifth gear and the next two miles ticked off in the low 6s.  It was pretty easy going the rest of the way though as soon as I began to slow down I felt my body really want to slow down.  Apparently it was all or nothing today.  A strange run.   I definitely need to space P90X Legs & Back farther from Thursday's intense workout.  Either that or maybe move the speed/hill stuff to Friday instead.

PM - 4.5 miles: I had time before band practice so I stopped at Rome Point for a short trail run.  I was surprised by the environment.  It had been snowing on and off all day in Smithfield but it didn't seem to stick much.  Down in North Kingstown, it was a different story.  Big clumps of wet snow clung to every tree and branch, turning Rome Point into a winter wonderland.  It was a pretty splendid place to run.  I ran the usual trails and my legs felt pretty good but they were soon worn out after I ran down the beach a ways.  Happy to get a second run in today.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 6.3 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
20 push-ups x3 / 4 pull-ups x2 / 5 chin-ups x2

I decided to check out some new trails close to work.  The first was the Stillwater Trail which is flat, wide and runs along the Stillwater pond.  The trail was only a mile long but it was very pleasant with the flowing river alongside.  Passed a group of folks with a bunch of dogs several times - I was pleased that their dogs were well behaved and ignored me.  Still plenty of crunchy snow on the ground from Tuesday's weather.  I suspect this winter will never end.

Then I went over the river (via bridge) to check out the George Washington Picnic Grove.  I'm not sure how much picnicin' goes on here - it was all woods and the trails were pretty rough and not maintained.  It was slow going at times as I had to navigate a bunch of streams and strain to find the trail.  I was wearing my MT20s and the crunchy snow was beginning to take its toll on my calves by the end.  Not a great area but I may return to see if I can find trails to connect it to Bryant.

Saturday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (85 minutes)

No running but plenty of activity.   Chainsawed a bunch of wood, then split and stacked it.  Followed it up with Yoga X with my wife.  Looking forward to an early long run in Burlingame.

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 15 miles

6:30 AM group run in Burlingame with Jonny, Mike G, Sandals and and older gentleman named John.  The plan was to take our time doing a bunch of easy miles and then do 8 miles at 50k pace.  We first checked out a dirt road that leads to Schoolhouse Pond.  I hadn't been out here since last fall and the pine forest destruction was massive.  Then we entered Burlingame proper.  Mike & Jonny showed me the Secret Trail (luckily they decided I didn't need to take the blood oath of secrecy.)  Jumped on Vin Gormley briefly before taking Sammy C's back to the Sammy C/Schoolhouse Pond trail intersection.  Throughout the run we had to duck under race markers and share the trail with groups of mountain bikers as there was a big time trial event going on at 9 AM.  Nice seeing so much activity in the woods.

Back at the intersection, John detected that insanity was about to ensue and wisely headed home.  The rest of us took Schoolhouse Pond trail towards VG - after a few minutes of easy pace we began the fast portion of our run.  Galoob took off immediately and was soon gone.  Jonny and Aaron were ahead of me and I was content to run at a pace which felt like work.  I was probably moving faster than I will for the TARC 50k (7:30-7:40 range) but I think I had the spirit of the workout in mind (that is, putting in a hard trail effort after already logging a bunch of miles in the woods.)

We ran Vin Gormley counterclockwise for four miles then turned around and headed back to the intersection.  I caught up with Aaron on the way back and together we pushed through the last couple miles.  Galoob was already gone by the time I finished (he was helping out with the bike race) and it was a short distance back to the car.  I considered tacking on another mile to hit a new weekly mileage PR but my feet were aching and I thought better of it - a new PR will come in good time.  A fun run that increased my anticipation for next Saturday's 1/2 marathon in Big River!


Weekly mileage: 44.2 miles

Year to Date:  378.8 miles

Monday, March 18, 2013

Big River East - March 17, 2013

My long run this weekend ended up being a solo affair.  I chose Big River since I hadn't been there in awhile and figured it'd be good to run some of the trails before the 4th Season finale 1/2 marathon on the 30th.  I wasn't quite sure about the route for that race but I knew that it went around Carr Pond.  I assume that at least some of the trails I hit will be part of the race.  I brought my iPod Touch and took pictures - it's not the best camera so I apologize in advance for the crappy pictures.

Mornin' in Big River
I parked at the lot on Hopkins Hill Rd at 6:40 AM.  Two cars were already there.  One guy was reading the paper and soon left.  The other appeared to be a disheveled person sleeping in a minivan.  A little sketchy but I knew the lot would soon be filled with mountain bikers so off I went.  The sun was just starting to climb through the trees as I made my way down towards Carr Pond. 

It was chilly to start but I went with shorts and a compression top.  My legs warmed up soon enough and I appreciated all the pockets in the shorts for carrying my supplies.  I carried my iPod on one of those arm straps.  At first sliding it off to snap a few pictures proved annoying as my body cooled but after a few miles I was properly warmed up and the brief stops didn't bother me.

The trail stayed away from Carr Pond until it reached the east shore.  There are plenty of rock formations which look out over the water, providing a great vantage point.  These rock sites appear popular with campers and cavorters, as there's plenty of evidence of fire pits and trash.  Pick up your crap, people!

From this point there's a wide trail that runs around Carr Pond.  I wanted to see more of this area so I found trails carrying me east.  I had a great map from NEMBA that listed roads and landmarks.  I knew that the eastern the Big River boundary was Carr Pond Rd.  I also saw "Water Tank" marked on the map.  I began to do some start/stop exploration, taking trails until I hit the road and then backtracking.  This didn't make for a very smooth/continuous run but I enjoyed feeling my way around the outskirts of BR.

Hard to miss

I had a good idea of where I was and then I saw a giant white thing through the trees.  Yep, there's the water tank.  Location confirmed, I wanted to try to make my way up the start/finish of the half marathon.  I proceeded west a little ways on a fairly open trail as the sounds of the highway slowly grew louder.
Eventually this trail turned north and then hit a wide dirt road that went straight in both directions.  I didn't realize it at the time but this was the New London Turnpike - I've travelled on it over on the west side of BR. 

The New London was a straight shot up to Division Rd, an actual paved road.  I saw a parking lot nearby and I'm assuming this is where we'll meet for the race as it's close to Exit 7 on 95.  I wanted to get away from the cars and back into the woods so I backtracked and jumped on the first trail I found.  Turns out this trail just ran alongside Division Rd for awhile.  So much for escaping.  I did however discover a beat-up old structure and thought it necessary to take it's picture. 
Perfect place for a nap
Stop!  Hammer Gel!

Mini Review: I used a couple of the Hammer Gels I grabbed at Ocean's Run last week.  Normally I don't care for berry flavors but the huckleberry was good.  And the gel almost has tiny tiny particles in it which give it a nice texture you don't get from most other gels.  I like 'em.

So I ran alongside Division Rd for a while before the trail looped around through some old farmland and back into the woods where it intersected with the New London dirtpike again.  Now I followed it in the other direction for a ways as I knew it would take me over to the sand dunes, an area I had not yet checked out.  It's a cool location: big sand dunes and prairie grass.  I kept expecting Mad Max refugees to appear on ATVs and ride me down.  I did a loop around the "desert" before returning to the woods.

A dirt biker's paradise

Just a handsome man scopin' out some dunes

"Run for your life!  The bandits are coming!"
 Once in the woods, I made my way back to the east side of Hopkins Hill Rd.  I took a side trail which turned out to be some sort of super hilly mogul run.  BMXers might enjoy this but it was brutal on my legs.  Finally jumped on a more pleasant trail and took it east until it hit Tarbox pond.  There I ran into a beaver dam (one of many I saw today.)  The path across the dam looked dicey and since I was only at mile 8 of a planned 16 miles I decided to head north around the pond instead. 

 I followed the trail, keeping Tarbox Pond to my right, until the trail straightened out and became wider.  I could've jumped off it to head in a more easterly direction but I have a hard time abandoning these faster dirt trail/roads - I like to see where they go.  This one ended up reconnecting me with the New London dirtpike.  There was also an extremely creepy building at the intersection that I had somehow not seen on my first pass.

I hope no one's home

Come on in!  We have cookies!
A tree was growing through a hole in the floor.  Crazy.
Finding myself back on the turnpike, I tried to find another trail that would take me back to Carr pond.  I didn't realize it until I saw the water tank, but I followed the same trail back that I had taken out.  Funny how nothing looks the same from the opposite direction.  I kept going and made my way back to the east side of Carr Pond.   I was pretty pleased with my distance so far - I had gone 10.5 miles and planned on spending the rest of my run on the trails between Tarbox & Carr ponds.

Same beaver dam from the other side of the pond
The network of trails between these two ponds is like a spiderweb and not really knowing where I was going, I just jumped from trail to trail until I eventually hit Tarbox pond from the other side.  I made my way south between the two bodies of water.  I had hoped to find a giant rock cliff I visited the last time I was here but no luck.   Eventually I found myself at the southern edge of Carr Pond where an old pumping station remains, a giant pipe going out into the water.

I ened up following the trail around Carr until I picked up the same trail I originally ran.  Followed it all the way back to the car.  The last uphill section was more than enough to finish me off but because I'm a sucker I took another trail out for .2 miles in order to hit 16 on the nose.  A great run in a beautiful place.  Looking forward to the half marathon!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Weekly Log: 3.11.13 - 3.17.13

Monday - Johnston, RI - 5 miles

Easy trail run through Snake Den to shake out the legs after yesterday's triumph at Ocean's Run.  Ran some of the trails I took last time and found some new trail that led back to Route 6.  It ended up making a 2.5 mile loop which I then ran a second time.  Legs felt good at first, then very tired but they felt good again towards the end.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (60 minutes)

I was going to do Legs & Back today but the top of my left foot is hurting.  It felt fine during yesterday's shakeout but perhaps it's just delayed effects from Ocean's Run.  I figured I'd give it some rest and focus on the upper body instead.  Elbow didn't hurt like the last time I tried this workout which is a good sign.  I definitely pushed it early on - at the halfway mark I could barely hold my pencil to write on my worksheet.

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (60 minutes)

Thursday - Smithfield, RI - 7 miles

I decided to do some hill repeats this morning instead of the track.  I'll be running the Jamestown Bridge 10k in a few weeks and figured I should prepare for the misery that lay in wait.  I parked at Stump Pond and first ran three easy miles around the reservoir.  My legs felt tired and I generally felt pretty blah.  I started to perk up as I neared the hill which was good because this hill was brutal. 

I decided to do three repeats.  I actually extended the first one further than I had planned in order to snag a Strava segment.  I was completely winded at the top and had to take a moment before beginning my jog back down.  Two more seemed daunting.  The second one was just as brutal but the third one didn't seem as bad (probably because I knew it was the last one.)  I'm definitely feeling it in my calves so the hills seemed to have worked.  We'll see if I have the will to tackle this workout in the future.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 6 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
4 pull-ups (2 sets) / 7 chin-ups (2 sets)
20 push-ups (2 sets) / 15 military push-ups

Just another run in the woods behind Fidelity.  I tried to keep pace peppy for the most part.  I wore my MT20s and they felt good - so light and so much fun to run with on the trails.  We'll see how my calves feel later.  It was beautiful out there.  Lots of criss-crossing of bubbly streams.  Just a very pleasant run.  Hard to believe that 1/4 mile away people were beginning to slog through another day.  They don't know what they're missing.

Saturday - 0 miles

Chainsawin', splittin' and stackin'.

Sunday -  West Greenwich, RI - 16 miles

Big River run.  Separate write-up here.

Weekly mileage: 34.1 miles

Year to Date: 334.6 miles

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


We're into March now and that means it's time to start seeds for my vegetable garden.  For the last couple years it's been mostly tomatoes and peppers that I've started indoors and I'm continuing that trend this year (at least for vegetables, I'll be starting some coleus plants as well.)  I don't plan on starting tomatoes until April but it's time to get those pepper seeds started.

Em had requested that I build her a cornhole table (which is about the limit of what I'm capable of from a carpentry perspective.)  The dimensions were actual perfect for the table where I grow my plants so I made a second frame, flipped it over and added plastic sheeting and a drain pipe.   Eventually I'll be transplanting into larger pots at which point drainage and water management traditionally become a pain in the ass.  I'm hoping my newfangled setup will make it easier.

In the past I've grown both sweet and hot peppers.  But I don't have great sun in my yard and I always end up with one or two sad sweet peppers per plant.  Doesn't seem worth it to me any more so I'm swearing off the sweets this year.

Get the pepto ready!

Instead, I'm going apeshit overboard with the hot peppers!  Unlike the sweets, my hot pepper plants have always been very productive.  Last year I pickled some (mixed results) and turned some into hot sauce (great success!)  I intend to use these to make more hot sauce.  Lots more.

Each type of pepper has a 2x3 square seed tray.  I planted 2-3 seeds per square.  I shall not want for hot pepper seedlings.  Previously I've always covered them with a bit of soil but the packaging says to just lay them on top of the soil so that's what I did.  They are covered with the clear lid, left under the shop light all day and sprayed with water every evening. 

The waiting game begins...

Once the seedlings emerge, the lid comes off.  I have a second shop light I'll bust out when I start the tomatoes and coleus.  I also have a much bigger light once the plants are ready for it.  I hope my fellow runners don't mind this occasional foray into my gardening exploits.  I figure it's a good way to break up the flow of the blog and keep me honest when it comes to caring for my plants. 

More to come.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon

Official time: 1:25:00.  Overall: 11th out of 370.

I was looking forward to this race for a while.  Previously this 1/2 marathon was held in September but they moved it to March to avoid a lot of the fall competition.  Smart move.  It had plenty more runners than in year's past.  My last official 1/2 marathon was this race back in 2011 - I finished with a time of 1:53.  I've run as low as 1:42 during some perky long runs.  I was hoping to break 1:30 this time.  All it would take is 6:50 miles.  Based on my last few months of running I thought this was very doable.

I arrived an hour early with Amanda who was running the 5k and Em who was volunteering at Water Stop #4 with her friend.  I'm glad we had picked up our bibs the day before - less stress on race day.  Met up with the usual WTAC speedsters and did a two mile warm-up.   It was brisk but a hat and gloves did the trick.  Then it was time to take to the line.

We took off and I quickly settled into a 6:30 pace.  A little faster than I had intended but it didn't feel like work so I just went with it.  The first couple miles feature two out and backs on small seaside streets - it gave me a change to see the guys ahead of me (Mike G in the lead with Muddy and Jeff not too far behind) and then the throngs of runners behind me.  It felt good to be near the front of the race and not boxed in by runners all around.  After two miles my position was more or less set and I found myself without many runners around me. 

At mile 4 I passed I guy in what looked like a Boston marathon jacket and then turned the corner and saw Em at the water station which gave me a boost of energy.  I was now on Matunuck Schoolhouse Road - a long stretch of rolling asphalt which passes lots of farmland.  I saw Jeff W and another racer far off in the distance but otherwise I was alone. 

Around mile 5 I started to hear clomp clompy footsteps behind me.  It was Boston marathon guy again.  He caught up and then settled into a position behind me.  His clomp clompy footsteps and heavy breathing threw me out of my rhythm.  I will still running at a 6:35-6:40 pace and didn't want anything to break my momentum.  I've done my share of drafting off other runners in races so I can't complain too much.  By mile 7 BM had passed me and I fell into a position a few hundred feet behind him.

The Green Hill section provided a minor hill and some windy neighborhood roads which were a welcome change from the loooong previous section.  I just ran this section last week so I hit the tangents and closed the distance on Boston marathon guy.  As we came out of Green Hill there is a 1/4 mile loop before heading back towards Matunuck.  There was a single arrow pointing left and three distracted teenagers guarding the intersection.  Poor BM turned right.  The teens realized what had happened too late.  They yelled to BM and so did I but to no avail.  He didn't hear and continued on his way.  No time to worry about him, I turned left and focused on maintaining my pace - still around 6:30.

At mile 9 the pace was beginning to feel like work.  Frankly I was thrilled that it had taken this long.  BM was now way ahead of me - I just focused on keeping my speed up, grabbing waters when I hit aid stations.  I was in fact picking up steam.  Miles 9-11 were all in the 6:20s.  I began doing calculations in my head, figuring out how much time I had left.  When I hit mile 11, I was in great spirits.  Two miles to go and I felt another surge of energy.  I was close to the end and about to crush my goal time - this realization really made me kick it into overdrive and I was able to bang out my two fastest miles of the day: 6:17 and 6:14.

Crossed the finish line in exactly 1:25:00.  I was congratulated by Amanda and the girls, my mom and in-laws.  Met up with the guys and learned of their triumphs.  A big overall win for Mike Galoob.  Third place for Muddy and 7th for Jeff.  Boston Marathon guy approached me as his Garmin had measured short.  I confirmed his fears when I told him that he had indeed skipped a section of the course.  Did a four mile cooldown with the guys (the last two miles were the toughest of the day - legs were fried) and then loaded up on pizza and cookies back at the finish.  Mike C had finished (and set a huge PR in the process) and I chatted with my buddy Matt, who loves the distance and has run something like 15 of 'em.

The heated tent had the food and the results which listed me as finishing 10th (they had disqualified BM.)  But all the results online seem to include him, which bumps me back to 11th.  Either way, I'm thrilled with my performance.  Everything went according to plan, both pre-race and during.  I was able to run faster than anticipated and I got stronger as the race progressed.  Tri-Mom Productions does a great job with this event and I hope they keep it in March going forward.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Weekly Log: 3.4.13 - 3.10.13

Monday - Johnston, RI - 5.1 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

I decided to finally venture into Snake Den State Park in Johnston, RI since it's right off of 295 on my way up to work.  Strava friend Tod runs there a lot and it has intrigued me since it's so easy for me to get to - I just needed to wait for the snows to recede.  Spurned on by Tod's recent run, I decided to test out the trails.  I've didn't have a map but I've studied one in the past plus I've seen plenty of Tod's Strava maps so I felt I'd be able to manage on my own.

Parking is behind the fire station on Route 6 and the initial trails were clear of snow.  Soon I hit ATV trails with plenty of snowpack left, however it was pretty packed down and easy to navigate.  Trails were well marked with paint and ribbons.  Some trails seemed to lead to farmland below - I couldn't tell if this was part of Snake Den so I opted to stay in the woods.

I ended up taking a really faint trail that cut over many streams and swampy sections.  Luckily there were plenty of ribbons and markings to guide the way.  I was starting to get concerned about where I was going to end up (thinking I might have to backtrack to get out) when I hit some more of the wider ATV trails which led to power lines.  I had a general idea of where I was and decided to try to bushwhack up to a rocky ridge to see if I could locate another trail.  This failed and I ended up stumbling through the woods for a few minutes before giving up and returning to the power lines.

There was a road nearby and I followed it hoping that it would deliver me to civilization.  After a few minutes it hit Route 6 and I followed it back to my car.  I ran in my New Balance MT20s and my calves/ankles are already sore from this run (previous MT20 runs have been in the snow which probably lessened their impact on my legs.)  I got the same pain from yesterday in the bottom of my foot again with about a mile to go.  Bah.  This has happened sporadically in the past so I'm hoping the next two days off will do the trick.

Tuesday - 0 miles

P90X Chest & Back (60 minutes)

My left calf is a bit twitchy again - I'm thinking the yesterday's run in the MT20s (my longest distance in 'em so far) might have aggravated it a bit.  Time to ramp up the stretching and foam rolling.

Wednesday - 0 miles

P90X Yoga X (60 minutes)

Thursday - Smithfield, RI - 5.1 miles

I planned to run after heading up to work.  I wasn't sure what the weather would be like but it turned out to just be flurries with the occasional windy gust.  I stuck to the Fidelity footpaths and local trails.  The trails were really beautiful with a fresh layer of powder and the only tricky part was not stepping in the puddles which were all over the place.  I was glad to get in what might be my last true wintry run of the season.

Friday - Smithfield, RI - 5.2 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
Pull-ups - 4 x 2 sets
Chin-ups - 6 x 2 sets

Great run in the woods behind Fidelity.  There was about three inches of fresh powder on the ground, plenty more was falling and the wind was muted by the forest.  My pace was easy and I was just enjoying the solitude of this (hopefully) last wintery blast.  Tomorrow's a rest day and then it's Ocean's Run 1/2 on Sunday.  Excited!

Saturday -  0 miles

Broke out the chainsaw again and moved a large amount of wood over to my processing area.  It'll probably sit there for awhile as I still have wood I scrounged last year that I need to split.  It looks like tomorrow's race is going to have a huge turnout and a big showing of WTAC folks.  I haven't been this excited for a race since NipMuck.  Can't wait!

Sunday - Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon - 19.5 miles

Finish time: 1:25.  11th overall.  Thrilled with my performance!   Report here.

Weekly Mileage: 35 miles

Year to Date: 300.5 miles