Monday - Smithfield, RI - 6 milesAn easy trail run in the woods behind Fidelity. Decided to scope out the trails that were under attack by Woodsmen. The bastards had been busy, cutting down trees and creating roadblocks in the sections of trail that were still intact. When I got to the clearing I was amazed how much larger it was than last time. I wonder how much farther into the woods they'll go? No doubt the houses they build will be lavish and isolated. I had a fun Strava segment back here but now it's more or less unrunable. I had a good chuckle at the thought that a year from now if you want to complete this segment you'll have to go through John Q. Moneybag's bathroom in order to stay on course.
Tuesday - 0 milesP90X Chest, Shoulders & Triceps (60 minutes)
Wednesday - Hopkinton, RI - 10.5 milesAnother early evening run in Hopkinton. I looked online and realized that I'd be parking pretty close to many small ponds and trails in Rockville that fellow WTACers enjoy. I decided to try the Narragansett trail section that runs around Long Pond. I then read a good report about this trail on Crutchley's blog (complete with pictures) and realized it had some pretty steep/rocky sections I hadn't planned on. Still I figured that it would only take me a little over two miles to get to the trailhead, giving me another half hour of light which should be enough time to navigate the 2.5 miles of trail. I opted to wear my lightweight NB 730 road shoes. I hoped that wouldn't regret this decision on the trails.
The run to the trail was quick (though an unusual number of motorists shouted things at me - that's Hopkinton for you.) By the time I got to the trail the sun was down but there was still a fair amount of light in the woods. It was technical right off the bat, with lots of big rocks to run around/over. It's always a little tense running in unfamiliar woods - you're never quite sure where the trail's gonna go. When I hit the parking lot on Canochet Rd I was relieved that I had hit the halfway mark on the trail and was on track. The rest of the trail run was much more challenging as now I was using the headlamp in the failing light. There are some awesome giant boulders to run across and also some really steep sections. Crutchley wasn't kidding when he said he resorted to climbing. The 730s proved to be no problem in the woods and I got a sense of why Jonny usually sticks with road shoes when running trails.
I knew from Crutch's Strava map that the trail section was almost done but now it was pretty dark and I had to keep pausing to make sure I saw the yellow blazes. The rocky outcroppings made the trail tough to spot. One last mountainous climb and finally I hit the parking lot on Old Rockville Rd. Success! And just in time as night had come. I motored down the dirt road, trusty headlamp showing me the way. The dirt road turned to pavement and then finally hit the intersection with Canonchet Rd.
I was still in unfamiliar territory but I knew where to go. There's a long stetch of road here with absolutely nothing on it. I ended up moving pretty fast on this road (a combination of feeling good and night creeps) and eventually I reconnected with the part I had run out on. A fun run in the darkness and I was really pleased with how I felt wearing the 730s - I think these are my go-to road shoe now.
Thursday - 0 milesAb Ripper X (15 minutes)
I had a dream last night that I was running the Ocean's Run 1/2 and was very late. I got to the race and people were already lined up. I didn't have my bib and because I was late they gave me a new bib. All the bibs they had left were gibberish. Mine said something like "3R8." And they made me fill out a tiny name tag. The runners took off as I was completing the tag and I felt completely dejected.
Yesterday's run was my longest yet in the 730s and while I've got a little ankle/calf soreness it's really not much. Psyched. Can't wait to use 'em in some fall road races.
Friday - Snake Den, Johnston, RI - 7.5 milesI hadn't been to the Snake Den park in a while so it seemed a good choice for this morning's run. Took it fairly easy as I made my way up and down the hilly trails but I turned it on when I hit the Connector Trail segment. Last time Strava gipped me and didn't recognize it. After the segment attempt felt pretty spent - I gave it my all.
And it turns out Strava denied me again. Curses!
Saturday - Carter Preserve, Charlestown, RI - 7.9 milesI had planned to run eight or so miles on Sunday and take Saturday off but when the e-mails went out about a group run at Carter Preserve on Saturday, I couldn't resist a group run so close to home. Big group with Jonny, Jeff, Mike B, Muddy and Nate. We hit up most of the trails in the preserve, keeping it at a fun conversational pace for the duration (save for a Strava segment loop around the grasslands - we all pushed the pace here.) It's been a while since I participated in a big group run and I'm glad I made the decision to join them. Good times.
Sunday - 0 miles
Weekly Mileage: 32 miles
Year to date: 1,366.9 miles
Fun week with a return of the always enjoyable group run and some new trail adventures in Hopkinton. One week until NipMuck!