Monday - Fidelity trails, Smithfield, RI - 5.2 milesAb Ripper X (15 minutes)
My legs felt pretty tired to start the run - yesterday's Arcadia adventure had taken their toll. My plan was to try to get in 7 easy miles in the woods. I explored some of the new dirt bike singletrack I had recently discovered up here. Fun trails - I found yet another one which had some open rock sections that descended into a swampy area along a stone wall. My legs never really loosened up and I decided to just wrap it up after 5 miles. No point in pushing it on a Monday after several days of running.
Tuesday - 0 milesP90X Back & Biceps (50 minutes)
Picked up a pair of 15 lb dumbbells off Craigslist over the weekend. I have 10 pounders and lower as well as a pair of adjustable weights but I find it cumbersome to attempt to change the weight during the workouts (pausing the video, etc.) The 15 pounders were the missing element I needed to jump up from the 10 pounds for a lot of the curls and such. As a result, this felt like a much harder workout - my attempts at pull-ups were pretty sad in comparison to past weeks but I'm chalking that up to my increased effort in the other exercises.
|Good harvest of maters and Hungarian hot wax peppers|
Wednesday - Tom McCoy Fun Run, Westerly, RI - 3.2 milesP90X2 Yoga X2 (65 minutes)
I got out of work early and headed down to the fun run with Amanda and Ezri. It was the first one I've attended and I was looking forward to watching Ezri in the kid's race. She was pretty excited too...until we arrived at the parking lot and she began to get cold feet. We lined up with her and ran the first street but she was not into it and we bailed on the attempt. Maybe next time.
Then it was time to line up for the fun run proper and we were off. I didn't warm up and was worried about going out too fast but it's hard to reign it in when everyone takes off. Tommy 5k and a fast kid pulled away followed by another kid and then Jeff. Jeff and I passed the other kid after maybe 1.5 miles. 5k and the fast kid soon disappeared and I was able to keep Jeff in my sights for the rest of the run. Finished in 4th with a time of around 18:55. I'm very pleased with that considering no warm-up and I'm looking forward to running an official 5k soon and hopefully shaving some time of my PR.
Thursday - Smithfield, RI - 11 milesCalves were a little tight from yesterday's hard effort at the fun run but otherwise no worse for wear. I had some extra time this morning and after internal debate decided to run some road/trails in Smithfield. Parked at Bryant and took the roads down to the Mowry Conservation Area in order to do a quick loop on the trails there. Then up the massive hill on Burlingame Rd in order to explore a new land trust area.
The Connors Farm Conservation Area seemed to have little land resembling a farm. Instead there were lots of granite formations and rocky paths. And hills. Considering my slog up Burlingame Road I probably should have expected them but the trails went up and down the same hill and made for tough climbs (I ended up hiking several of them.)
After exploring most of the trails in this cool little area, I came out on the other side on some new roads. I wasn't exactly sure where I was but I wasn't exactly unsure either. I had glanced at Google maps before heading out and eventually I hit the Stump Pond reservoir which I was familiar with. From here I ran around the pond back to Bryant and jumped onto the old cross country trail to head back up to campus. I saw a new trail and of course I had to jump on it to see where it went. It headed away from Bryant and I'm sure if I had kept following it then it would have linked up to some other trails I had explored a while back but it was getting late so I left it for another time.
When I got home I cracked open one of the Beer Machine bombers that I had put in the fridge yesterday. I heard the KRRSHHHH when I popped the cap - the priming sugar worked! It's better with the carbonation. Reminds me of Narragansett. Not too bad overall.
Friday - Big River Management Area, West Greenwich, RI - 20 milesWith the day off I originally considered driving up to the NipMuck trail to give the second half of the marathon a trial run. But I balked at the 90 minute drive and decided instead to do a really long trail run closer to home - it would probably the longest I'd do prior to the NipMuck. It was between Arcadia and Big River but I had just been to Arcadia and I really liked the idea of putting together a massive run in BR that encompassed both the east and west portions of the park. I felt I finally had the knowledge of the trails to do it without getting completely lost.
I parked at the lot off Exit 6 and headed in. I had my handheld in one hand and a small bottled water in the other. I carried one of my red lentil rice cakes, a protein bar and gel. I took the Pine trail first off of the main dirt road and then crossed over onto the Things that Go Bump in the Night. Here my knowledge and sense of direction proved suspect because after going by Sweet Pond I got completely spun around and ended up back at the start of TTGBITN. D'oh! Everybody laugh at the BR noob.
I laughed it off and ran the trail again, encountering a masters group of mountain bikers near the end. I made the same wrong turn again but luckily realized it after only a minute. Turned around and of course the Sawmill Trail was right there in the other direction. This little loop probably added 2.5 miles to the run but I was looking to run twenty so I guess it worked out in the end.
Took the Sawmill trail for a while before jumping off it and taking twisty turny singletrack up to the Lookout. I tried to take the trails in reverse from my last visit there and it actually worked - made it to the Lookout no problem. Someone recently stocked the mailbox with goodies and I helped myself to some oreos. Have to remember to bring some treats up next time to pay it forward.
After my snack, I went back down more twisty stuff past the quarry and jumped on the BR Expressway and took it up to the Hopkins Hill parking lot. From here it was the long loop around Carr Pond. I was nine miles in and feeling good. I knew a blister was brewing on my pinky but the sensation faded as the run went on. Ran up to where we started the 1/2 marathon and then did some of the race's last twisty leg in reverse. I came out near the sand dunes and cut through there, doing my best Chevy Chase impersonation.
Back into the woods for what I hoped was my last section of singletrack, I tried to find the Shoot the Moon trail which would take me up near the car. Turns out I did end up on it but at an intersection I went left instead of right and ended up on the New London Expressway. I took it back towards Sweet Pond and jumped on the Steeple Chase trail which led to Logs Trail and then back to the car. After I got on Steeple Chase I was ready for the run to be over but my legs held up well throughout and I was pleased that I averaged just under a 9 minute pace for the whole run. Overall a great run - made a couple wrong turns but in the end I executed most of what I set out to do.
Saturday - 0 miles
Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 11 milesRan some early morning miles on the local roads and beaches in order to hit 50 miles for the week. It was quiet running amongst the beach cottages. Can't believe how many rabbits there are in the Breachway/Green Hill neighborhoods. Legs felt pretty tired after 42 miles over the last four days and I kept the pace very easy for the whole run.
Weekly Mileage: 50.4 miles! (PR)
Year to Date: 1,152.8 miles
I'm pleased to have hit 50 miles for the first time ever. Definitely won't be repeating it next week but I plan on still keeping the mileage pretty high for the rest of August before dropping down a bit in anticipation of early September races.