Monday - Wolf Hill, Smithfield, RI - 6.6 milesCold! Definitely time for the thermal leggings. Ran the usual trails on Wolf Hill. The land trust recently slapped a fresh coat of green paint on one of the trails which is appreciated. Nose and fingers were frozen at first but after a couple miles they thawed out nicely. The fall deluge of leaves has come to an end with most of them now off the trail or crushed into submission. I took the power line trail south beyond the perimeter of Wolf Hill to see how far it was to the Putnam Pike (answer: not far.) In my mind I can see the makings of an epic trail race that runs these powerlines from North Smithfield down to the Snake Den. The hills would be brutal and you'd be able to see the other runners far off in the distance. I'm sure there are a thousand restrictions and laws that would prevent this from happening but a man can dream.
Tuesday - Hopkinton, RI - 6.3 milesI tried to start the day off with some Chest, Shoulders & Tris but my lower back was sore and as I tried my first push-up it felt very tight under my left arm. I decided to stop lest I make things worse. Is there no end to this madness?!?
At least it hasn't affected my running. Did my usual stint around Hopkinton while waiting on pick-up duties. I'm not sure what it is about this place but I always feel great and have a fast pace (maybe it's the night running.) Saw a mouse in the road and chased him for a bit before he froze in his tracks. I turned away and he made his escape. Scared a fellow who was looking into a yard where his dog was peeing. I heard him whisper "Oh!" and then his beast charged me. Poor old guy really had to make an effort to reign him in. Another victim of the Night Bandit!
Wednesday - Charlestown, RI - 1.3 milesHeavy rains all day today but at 5:30 AM it was windy and just spitting so I dragged Oliver across the street for a quick run. He did not seem very enthused but it's probably the only exercise he was getting today. Plus I need every mile I can scrap together in my pursuit of 1800.
Amanda and I went to the Malted Barley in Westerly at night to see friends. We actually had to wait in line for about 10 minutes to get in. Never been there before but what a great beer bar! Kipling Pale Ale was the cask ale and it was delicious. I also had Founder's All Day IPA on tap which was phenomenal.
Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 9.4 milesI took Oliver out for a three mile jaunt at 5:30 AM. We hit about a 9 minute mile pace which is pretty good for him I think. After bringing him back to the house, I ran down to the beach and back. Big waves at the beach. I was moving well until I turned around and realized I'd be fighting the wind the way back. Between the two runs I got in over 9 miles this morning - a good prep for the feasting that would ensue.
Friday - Crawley Preserve, Richmond, RI - 9 milesI had to work (blech) but luckily I was able to make this group run before heading up to the office. Met up with Jeff, Mike B and Mike G for a run at the Crawley Preserve. Only Galoob had been there before and we were looking forward to some new trails. A steep hill right off the bat made me regret my second round of dessert last night but that was followed by a nice downhill. Then a neverending road climb. After this initial elevation seesaw we jumped back into the woods and explored more trails and dirt roads. I don't think we actually explored much of the Preserve itself - we spent a lot of time on the outlying roads and unofficial trails. But it was a lot of fun and a lively run. We'll save Crawley Preserve proper for another day.
Saturday - 0 miles
Sunday - Charlestown/South Kingstown, RI - 16.7 milesI had couple possibilities for my long run but ultimately I decided to stick close to home and run to as many trails as I could. I was interested in joining Nate for an early morning exploration of a new DuVal trail but I couldn't get out of bed. It still sounded like a good idea so I decided to make a long run out of it. I wore my 4mm New Balance 730s and this would definitely be the longest run in 'em by a good five miles or so. I figured since the run would be a mix of roads and trails they'd be alright.
I started off by attempted to bushwack from the fields of South Farm over to Shannock Rd. I'd really like a cut-through so I didn't have to run all the way up past the Rathskellar. Unfortunately I only made it about halfway through the swamp and prickers before giving up on the attempt. You can see from my Strava map how I ended up veering off course anyhow. I retreated back to the fields and it began to rain.
I returned to Old Coach and took the roads over to Browning Woods, stopping briefly to chitchat with my buddy Jarrod who was diligently chopping wood in the rain. The rain was steady but not too heavy and the temp was 50 degrees for which I was happy. Just before I entered Browning Woods, I felt a stinging in my left nipple and saw that my tech shirt was bloody. Never before had I ever had to deal with this runner's affliction and I wasn't sure what to make of it. Did I scratch it while bushwacking? Two miles later and the right one began to bleed - that answered that question. I guess the 2013 Blessing of the Fleet shirt does not agree with my tender nips when wet.
I took the Heart trail over to the dirt road and then traveled through the sand dunes where I spied the remains of a deer. It was mostly just head and neck - a grisly sight but a reminder of what awaits us all. I continued on the dirt road towards the DuVal trail. The 730s were soaked through but still felt alright. I could tell that my calves were beginning to feel it. I pushed the DuVal trail at a good pace and made my way to the new section of the southern half. It's about a mile long and leads to a cool little pond - a very nice addition to this network of trails.
After that it was all roads back to the house. My calves were ready to be done with this run and I felt no desire to push the distance to hit 50 for the week. A long but interesting jaunt.