Friday, June 27, 2014

Weekly Log: 6.23.14 - 6.29.14

And so we come to the end of June.  I said that this would be a do-what-I-feel month and I've stuck to that.  Only one long run for the month thus far and no races to speak of.  It looks like I'll be breaking 1000 miles for the first half of 2014 so I'm right on pace for 2000 for the year.  This last week promises to be busy, busy, busy as next week is the return of Vacation Awesomesauce.  I'm probably more excited than anyone else but I've got a lot to do at home and in the office before we can depart.

Monday - East Providence, RI - 3 miles

110 push-ups (standard/military/wide) 40/30/40

My calves have been quite sore over the last two days.  After 16 miles on Saturday morning, I tied one on in the afternoon.  I was fairly hungover on Sunday and I think the dehydration really prompted the soreness in my calves.  I debated just taking the day off but ultimately figured a few easy miles would help loosen 'em up.  I ran over the bridge and through the Blackstone Park trails before returning to the office and banging out a few push-ups.

Tuesday - East Providence, RI - 10.2 miles

170 push-ups (standard/decline/wide) 40/30/40/40/20

At lunch, a bunch of push-ups.  Then a few very easy miles.  Calves finally feel back to normal.

After work, I ventured over to the East Bay Bike Path for another tempo run.  Legs felt good right off the bat and I picked up the pace quickly.  The cross wind from the bay was powerful and I had to work hard against it.  I stopped briefly in Riverside to stretch and then turned around, picking up the pace to 6 minute miles.  I got into a focused, rhythmic breathing and was moving very well.  I kept pushing the pace along the water and when the path veered uphill/inland I continued to push but once I crested the hill I was beat.  Slow and steady the rest of the way to the car.

Wednesday - Seekonk, MA - 5.1 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

It was mid-80's today and super muggy.  The air was thick and oppressive.  Nevertheless I stuck to my plan of easy miles in the Seekonk Meadows.  I decided to test run the waist pack that I'll be bringing up to New Hampshire (it's not a fanny pack Jonny!  There are many pockets!)  The humid heat really sapped my energy.  I had put a water bottle in the pack to add some weight to it but I had drank it all by the end.  Pretty tiring conditions but the pack should work well in the Whites.

Thursday - Rome Point, North Kingstown, RI - 4.7 miles

300 push-ups (standard/military/decline/Pike's Press) 50/30/30/15/50/30/40/15/40

I had band practice in the evening (we'll be at the Greenwich Hotel in E.G. on the 11th.  Come out!)  I stopped at Rome Point beforehand and it looked like thunderstorms had passed through.  Everything was wet and there were puddles everywhere.  The air was nice and cool.  Good run.  Wore my MT00s which I've been wearing without socks.  They drain so well.  I was enjoying the evening run but my calves began to feel sore so I cut it a few miles short.

Friday - Charlestown, RI/Seekonk, RI - 11.5 miles

Dog Jog in the morning.  In the afternoon I went over the Seekonk Track.  The plan was a ladder - 200 / 400 / 800 / 400 / 200 - three in each set.  It was hot and sunny but there was wind which, while made one side of the track a bear, also kept the temperature reasonable.  Right from the get-go I didn't have much oomph and I definitely wasn't giving it 100%.  Still the pace picked up as I went and I'm glad I got it done.

Saturday -  0 miles

Packing up and getting ready for our vacation.  Then my Uncle Jimmy and his lady came into town from the Virgin Islands and took us and my mom out for a great lunch at the Breachway Grill.  Then we went to Miriam's dance recital where she did great.  Finally back home to finish packing.

Sunday - 0 miles

Woke up early and hit the road by 5:45.  Arrived in the lovely Glen, NH by 11 AM.  Went to Moat Mountain for lunch and had my usual beef brisket sandwich.  I love that thing.  Also a couple beers.  Then back home before attempting to hit the outlets...all closed.  Damn Sunday.  Well at least we bought groceries for the week.   I still amazed when I can buy beer in a supermarket.  Ezri was a bit of a grump throughout the day.  Let's hope it's not an indication of what's to come.

1x Moat Mountain East Intervale IPA
1x Moat Mountain Slow Chair Trippel
2x Moat Mountain Iron Mike Pale Ale

Weekly Mileage: 34.7 miles

Year to Date: 1,022.3 miles

No running this weekend but that's alright as the rest is probably necessary.  I expect I'll be topping my last two months of elevation with the next week of vacation.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Weekly Log: 6.16.14 - 6.22.14

Monday - East Providence, RI - 6.1 miles

I decided to return to the East Bay Bike Path, the site of last week's cake incident and try another tempo run, albeit a shorter one.  This attempt went much better with the first couple miles around 6:30 before I was able to kick it up to 6:00 for the next two.  Hot day but the breeze along the bay helped.

The big news today for our clan was that Ezri's leg cast came off!  Huzzah!  It'll still be a few more weeks before she can walk unassisted but at least now she can get wet and go to the beach.

Tuesday - East Providence/West Greenwich, RI - 10 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)
235 push-ups (standard/decline/wide/diamond) 40/30/40/15/30/25/40/15

At lunch I dropped my car off for an oil change and did 3.5 leisurely miles around town.  It was oppressively hot.  And my oil change was oppressively expensive.  I won't be going there again.

After work, I ventured over to Big River.  It was cooler now and I opted to follow the same trail as last week that skirts Capwell Millpond.  Within a half mile the first deer fly appeared.  Soon one became two and then...well you know.  I wished I had thought to grab my hat out of the car.  With my newly buzzed haircut they were having a field day and my curses grew and grew.  After two miles I threw my shirt over my head and soldiered on.  Now their full onslaught began - one fumbled its way into my mouth and another landed on my cheek and bit.  Fucking shitmisers!  There is no recourse against these bastard creatures.   I took Steeplechase back towards the car and still had some time (if not much will) so I ventured over to the Pine trail which was thankfully not fly territory.  Would have been an enjoyable trail run otherwise but next time I'm going apeshit crazy and bringing duct tape.

Wednesday - East - Providence, RI - miles

Hey guess what?  It's hot as balls again!  Hooooray!  Went over to the Ten Mile River Bikepath intent on doing four easy miles and that's just what I did.  Between the shade of the trees and a near continuous breeze I was never hot and it turned out to be a very pleasant run.

In other news, it's sad to watch my hard won Smithfield Strava segments slowly get whittled away.  I lost one a couple weeks ago and another one was taken from me today.  Soon I will be but a distant memory over there.

Thurday - Seekonk, MA - 7.4 miles

195 push-ups (standard/decline/wide/Pike's press) 40/30/40/15/40/30

Today was a speedwork day and I decided to check out the nearby high school.  I parked near the Turner Reservoir and ran a 1/2 mile of trail until it reached the Seekonk High track.  It was empty except for two women walking.  But it was hot.  I didn't think to bring water, a hat or sunscreen.   Dumbass.  Next time.  Anyway after a few laps as a warm-up I got into it.  My plan was 800s, 400s and then 200s - four of each.  As soon as I started the first 800 my brain started trying to negotiate me down to three but I did not relent.  The track was in full sun but thankfully I had cloud cover for most of the 800s.  However I was baking for the other sets.  School got out just as I was getting there and a bunch of kids came to the track to socialize but soon they retreated to the shade of the concession stand.  I still don't know how fast I'm supposed to be running these things but I gave a hard effort and was spent by the end so that's good enough for me.  For now.

Friday - Caratunk Refuge, Seekonk, MA - 4 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

At lunch I went for an easy run in the Caratunk Refuge.  Trails were a lot dryer than the last time I had been there but as I ventured further into the woods I encountered some heavy vegetation at times.  I guess the deeper trails don't get a lot of use or maintenance.  Still I enjoyed the run and the lack of serious bugs.

Saturday - Richmond, RI - 16.4 miles

The original plans for a long group run petered out and I decide on this run at the last minute.  I wanted to explore some more of the North/South trail that was new to me so I parked in the Carolina Management Area and ventured north.  The plan was to follow the trail for 8 miles and then turn around.  Beautiful cool morning - around 55 degrees.  The first 1.5 miles were trail but then I hit charming neighborhood roads.  These were bad but then I came to a busy street.  When I saw the sign for BBQ I realized I was on Route 138.  The trail follows 138 for about a mile which is one mile too many.  Finally I turned onto side streets and ran another two miles of hilly roads.  I was starting to wonder if I'd picked the most road heavy portion of the trail when finally I reentered the woods at 5.5 miles.  I was on trails for most of the rest of the way, eventually passing underneath Interstate 95 and entering the outskirts of Arcadia.

I ran until I hit 8 miles when I encountered a cool river of boulders.  I ventured just beyond them and then began the long return trip.  My legs began to tire but at least it was more downhill than not. Route 138 was just as annoying the second time.  It's too bad that the trail diverts onto roads for four miles but looking at the map I guess it has to navigate around quarries.  I don't know if I'll ever do the whole thing but I enjoyed exploring a couple new sections of trail.  And it was nice not worrying about directions and just following the blue blazes.

Sunday - 0 miles

Weekly Mileage: 48.1 miles

Year to Date: 987.6 miles

Monday, June 16, 2014

Adventures in Homebrewing - Spring 2014

Spring is finally here!  Besides the fact that my favorite trails are now free of ice and snow, it also means that my basement temp has warmed up which should make fermentation a bit easier.  

I've been slowly cobbling this blog post together for so long that my original opener is no longer relevant.  Now summer is almost here!  Fermentation will now become trickier as even my basement temps begin to creep up.  I'm in a bit of a lull brewing-wise so now's the perfect time to detail all my brews from the last few months.

ChocoNanner Stout - 5.5-6% ABV

This was my grand experiment to make a stout with bananas added at secondary.  It was quite the process and the end result produced a dark roasty beer with mild chocolate and banana undertones.  I'm still not sure if it's entirely successful but ultimately it did what I set out to do.

Chinook Pale Ale - 4.2% ABV

Originally this was supposed to be an all-grain version of my first extract recipe.  It was my first attempt at brew-in-a-bag and it didn't go as well as I had hoped. When it came time to drink one I had already written it off but I was wrong wrong wrong!  The aroma was good and the resulting brew was a very drinkable all-day IPA.  Despite temperature and sanitation issues, I made a tasty brew - a testament to how forgiving this hobby can be.

Ocean State Homebrew Competition

I submitted my apfelwein and Bourbon Barrel Porter to the Ocean State Homebrew Competition held at Johnson & Wales in early April.  I didn't know what to expect as you just drop your brews off at an official sponsor and then wait for the results (the judging is closed to the public.)  Finally the results were posted and come to find out my apfelwein placed second in the Specialty Cider category with a score of 34 (okay so there were only six entries but I'll take it!)  It also went on to take 2nd in the Best in Show Cider category.  The BBP didn't do bad either, scoring a 33 out of 50 which is pretty respectable.  It was interesting reading all the reviews/criticism/praise of my brews.  I'll definitely be taking the judges' remarks under advisement when I make my next batch of BBP.

American Wheat - 4.8% ABV

I decided to whip up a gallon of this beer a few hours beforehand when I was already planning a more involved brew session with my 2nd attempt at an all grain batch (see below.)   I already had the cascade and willamette hops (only needed 6 grams apiece) and I had half a packet of dry yeast too.  Just had to grab a pound of DME at the brewshop.  This beer is light and drinkable.  The Safale-05 yeast is fairly neutral tasting and the beer doesn't have that strong yeasty taste of its German cousins.  Just a quick small batch I worked up on the fly but it came out well!

15 Minute Cascade Pale Ale - 5.2% ABV

Here's another quick extract recipe that I got off my homebrew discussion board.  Again this was a case of picking a recipe with hops already on hand.  This was a 2.5 gallon batch that couldn't be simpler.  3 pounds of DME, 1/2 pound of crystal 60 as the steeping grain and 3 ounces of cascade hops.  The best part about this recipe is that the boil is only 15 minutes long!  Hops are added at 15, 5 and 0 and then dry hopped.  Beer came out really tasty with lots of hop aroma and flavor. 

English Barleywine - 9.5% ABV

For my second BIAB attempt, I decided to really go for it and make an English Barleywine.  Originally I was going to make 1 gallon but after doing some calculations I figured I could get away with 2 gallons on my stovetop.  Though it was only a 2 gallon batch I still used 6 pounds of grain and I didn't have much room to spare.  Unlike last time I didn't micromanage the mash-in.  I had preheated the oven to 155 degrees.  Once I stirred in all the grains, I covered the pot and placed it in the turned-off oven for one hour.

This worked much better than last time where I tried to regulate the temp by turning on the burners sporadically.  The temps ended up a little low (147 degrees) but the resulting gravity was much better.  I was shooting for 1.082 and reached 1.074.  Not quite where I wanted to be but much closer than last time.   I had thought ahead this time and bought some DME - a half pound would do the trick but I came to play and dumped the full pound in.  Starting gravity - 1.096.  Boom.

L to R - American Wheat, English Barleywine, 15 Minute Cascade Pale Ale

So much trub

I used safale-05 which has become my go-to yeast and it ate up the sugar beautifully.  FG came out at 1.022!  Now I had a decision to make.  I could bulk age in secondary or just bottle and let it age a few months individually.  I really liked the idea of bulk aging and pushed ahead despite the unorthodox amount of beer.  I had two gallons but a good amount of it was trub.  I decided to rack into two separate containers.  First I filled up a 4 liter Gallo wine jug (and I mean I filled it - right to the top!  Whoops!)  Then I realized I didn't have that much left to rack.  What to do?

I ended up grabbing an empty handle of Jim Beam, drilling a hole in the top and throwing an airlock on it.  After a quick rinse with StarSan, in went the rest of the barleywine.  What a disaster - it only filled the bottle halfway.  That's way too much headspace to leave for any extended period of time so after a week I decided to just bottle what was in there...of course come to find out that my autosiphon wouldn't fit.  D'oh!  So I poured it every so gently into the bottle bucket, added some sugar and got on with it.  I got 3.5 bottles out of it.  I put an X on the top of the three bottles to let me know that the contents may be dubious but after tasting the remaining 1/2 bottle I can honestly say that this is gonna be one tasty beer.  Now to just leave it be until the fall.

Three survivors of the Jim Beam Secondary Debacle

The rest of the batch settles down for
a long summer's nap

On Tap

This past Father's Day I brewed up five gallons of the 15 Minute Pale Ale and a strong Brown Ale that came in at 1.076 with my buddy Jay.  The 15 Minute is a known commodity but I'm looking forward to sampling the brown ale.  Happy brewing!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Weekly Log: 6.9.14 - 6.15.14

Monday -  0 miles

P90X Shoulders & Arms (45 minutes)

It's been a while since I did a P90X workout but I wasn't running today so I opted for one in the morning.  This one was a good choice and the light weight work hit the spot.

Tuesday - East Providence, RI - 7 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

I decided to run the East Bay Bike Path after work and further decided to make it a tempo run.  Though I'm taking it easy through June it's never too soon to start thinking about those muggy July races.  I figured five miles at a 6:20ish pace would be a good effort in line with what I'd be running at the Blessing.

Unfortunately, I made the unwise decision to eat a slice of carrot cake at 3 PM in honor of a retiring coworker.  I didn't think much of it at the time and figured it'd be replacing my usual afternoon snack of pretzels & carrots.  But this was a Gregg's cake, loaded with buttercream deliciousness.  As soon as I started the run I didn't feel great.  I felt churglins and gurglins in my gut that just wouldn't go away.  I decided to attempt the workout anyway so after a mile I cranked it up.  Immediately I could feel the bile begin creeping up my throat.  The bike path was loaded with people and I didn't want to puke and scare the children.  I knew I wouldn't be able to maintain the pace so after 1.5 miles I bailed and trudged along until I hit 3.5 miles.  I stretched for a couple minutes and then made my way back to the car, never really feeling any better.

As an aside, people are dumb as hell (or just don't care, which is worse.)  How hard is it to walk on the correct side of the bike path?  Keep to the left, dummies!

Wednesday - East Providence, RI - 6 miles

280 push-ups (standard/military/wide/decline) 40/30/50/30/40/30/30/30

When I run across the Henderson Bridge I see a dirt road below - it didn't take me long to figure out where it starts and today I went exploring.  It ran along old unused train tracks before opening up into a big sand pit clearly used by 4 wheel drive vehicles.  I came out along the shore of the Seekonk River which is a smelly, oil-stained place.  I followed the shore briefly before finding some more trails.  The ground was black, unnatural.  I was behind the industrial behemoths that occupy the land near my office.  It was very noisy and the woods were littered with trash and fossilized tires, long decayed.  All in all a pretty nasty place.

After that I jumped onto roads and ran down a couple neighborhood streets.  Therer was an unusually large amount of old people hanging out by their fences (maybe waiting for the mail?)  They all seemed to give me a cold glare as though it was my fault they were stuck in East Providence.  Sorry folks, there's nothing I can do for you.

Thursday - Charlestown/East Providence, RI - 10.3 miles

Dog Jog first thing in the morning.  We did the loop from Black Pond Rd to the Narragansett trail and then back on Old Coach.  I didn't consider that the spring growth would make finding the trail difficult - we basically had to bushwack to get to a clearer path but Oliver was a good sport about it.

In the afternoon, I stuck to my plan and did some 1/4 mile intervals on Waterfront Dr (the empty straightaway I discovered last week.)  I settled on 12 since I did 6 half milers last week.  Since I wasn't on a track I wasn't sure how to measure out the downtime in between.  I settled on 1/10 mile jogs since it'd be easy to calculate with the GPS watch.  This seemed to work well and didn't give me too much rest in between.  Like all good speed work, the last few sucked and I had to bargain with myself to get through 'em.  A satisfying workout but I got back to the office a big sweaty mess.

Friday - Seekonk, MA - 5 miles

290 push-ups (standard/wide/decline/pike's press/diamond) 50/40/30/20/15/40/40/30/15/10

I got absolutely drenched making trips out to the car this morning but amazingly I left the torrential downpours in South County and my commute wasn't awful.  By lunch the storm had passed and I hit up the Seekonk Meadows for some humid, muddy fun.  Actually there wasn't too much mud - the trails drained well.  I wore my minimal MT00s per usual with this place - they drain exceedingly well.  For the first time I wore 'em without socks.  Worked really well.  It my muggy but not buggy so I'll definitely take it.

Saturday - 0 miles

Plenty of stuff to do around the house.  Figure I'll run long on Father's Day.

Sunday - Charlestown/North Kingstown, RI - 7.8 miles

Okay so that long run didn't happen.  I woke up without much gumption to run for two hours.  So as I lay in bed I shortened it to 1 hour.  Then I mentally shortened it again to a short dog jog.  So my 14 miles ended being whittled down to 2.2 miles.  It's June, I do what I want!  I'm not in training per se at the moment and I'm giving myself license to chill.  Plus without the long run I was able to go out to a wonderful Father's Day breakfast with all my girls which was a treat.

In the afternoon I brewed some beer with bandmate Jay at his house.  The whole process went quicker than planned and I found myself with some time before dinner was ready (Jay and his special ladyfriend were making kabobs.)  I took the trail and beach over to Rome Point for an easy, hot afternoon run.  Rome Point was packed with people on this beautiful day.  I was moving pretty well considering that I had a couple beers in me and really enjoyed the trails.  Plus I felt less guilty about shirking my morning run.

Weekly Mileage: 36.1 miles

Year to Date: 939.5 miles

Good week.  Glad I made up for the cake incident with another round of speedwork on Thursday.  If I can keep the workouts occurring on a weekly basis, I'll be in good shape (though next weekend I really should run long seeing as I bailed on the last two.)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Weekly Log - 6.2.14 - 6.8.14

Everyone else is doing it, so I'm also going to add a Strava feed to the side of the ol' blog rather than post the individual entries in the blog itself.  It'll help streamline things plus if Strava craps out it won't make my past blog entries look awful.

Monday - East Providence, RI - 5.4 miles

It was a hot day out there.  At lunch I went over the the East Bay Bike Path and took off at a jaunty pace.  The breeze off the bay kept me cool.  I jumped into the woods to check a small circuit of trails before continuing along the path for a while longer.  Beautiful day along the water.

Tuesday - West Greenwich, RI - 9.9 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes) / 160 push-ups (standard/military/wide/decline) 40/30/40/20/30

After work I hit up Big River.  I wanted to continue to explore the trail along Capwell Millpond.  I continued to bear left and eventually it turned south and intersected the New London Turnpike.  From here I ventured over towards the quarry and made my way up to the Lookout.  Found it on the first try!  Then I planned to take Elephant back down to where it intersects Sawmill but I got turned around and ended up back at beginning of Sawmill.  No matter, at least I knew where I was.  Followed Sawmill all the way and then took I See Dead People back towards the car.  This run was a lot of fun.  It was humid but no bugs yet.  Encountered several mountain bikers on this run and when I returned to the lot there were quite a few more cars.  Lots of people enjoying Big River on this particular evening.

Wednesday - Providence/Hopkinton, RI - 10.6 miles

With no real plan in mind I decided to hop across the bridge to the east side and head towards India Point Park.  At first I felt normal but by the time I reached the park I began to tire.  I ventured up to the Brown Campus and wandered this way and that.  Legs never pepped up and it was a bit of a slog.  Very humid too.

After work I went to the mall to get my poor iPod Touch fixed (replaced) and then I had time before picking up Em to tack on a few more miles in Hopkinton.  Just like at lunch my legs felt fine for a while.  I went into Black Farm and did the usual small loop of trails before arriving at the water vista with the long-gone train bridge.  I enjoyed the serenity and sounds of the marsh creatures as dusk settled over the land.  But it was tough to get going again.  And it was even more humid than it had been at lunch time.  The run back to the dance studio was slow and sluggish.  I was very glad when it was over.

So probably more running than I needed today but it was National Running Day.  The last few years I've never been able to run on this day so I felt compelled to make up for it.

Thursday - 0 miles

310 push-ups (standard/military/wide/decline) 40/20/40/30/40/30/50/30/30

Legs need a day off.  Instead just a boatload of push-ups at lunch.

Friday - East Providence, RI - 7.2 miles

Ab Ripper X (15 minutes)

There's a road that was recently finished near my office (it's still under construction on google/maps) that's a throughway to bypass a bunch of congested neighborhood streets.  I started taking it this week as it's wide, straight and free of side streets.  Hmmm, perhaps I could put this new find to work?

It was 80 and sunny but I ventured over there anyway, intent on doing some form of speedwork.  It's close enough to the office to allow me to run to and from as a warmup/cooldown.  I opted for six 1/2 mile intervals, run at my 5k pace with 1/4 mile jogs between.  T pace, I pace - I still don't understand this shit.  So I went with Seth Pace, an effort that feels hard and makes me want to quit.  It went accordingly and the last two were exhausting.  Thankfully the sun went behind clouds for the second half of the run.  The road itself proved perfect for the workout - not a lot of traffic and very wide shoulders.  I'll be sure to come back for more suffering.

Saturday - 0 miles

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 7.4 miles

Originally I was going to run long in the morning but by Saturday afternoon I decided to hell with it.  No motivation to get up early and run for a few hours.  It's June - I do what I want!  So I had sort of accepted a zero for the weekend but then as Sunday unfolded I decided to run at the beach in the afternoon when the opportunity presented itself.  I parked at Charlestown Beach, ran down to the Breachway and then in the opposite direction to Green Hill.  Beautiful day - lots of people enjoying the warm sunny afternoon.  After 3.5 wet sandy miles I decided to take the roads back to the car.  I enjoyed the beach but battling the tide takes its toll.  The road miles were uneventful but enjoyable as well.  Good way to end a productive weekend.

Weekly Mileage: 40.4 miles

Year to Date: 903.4 miles

Couple good runs this week.  10 miles of fun in Big River and a return to speedwork on Friday.  Pleased to hit 40 despite no long weekend run.  Let's keep it going.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Weekly Log: 5.26.14-6.1.14

Post Pineland relief/comedown!  I've nothing on my plate for June and I mean to keep it that way.  I'll still be running of courrse but without any real agenda other than to make quality speedwork a weekly trend.  But this week I'm looking forward to taking it easy and letting my body recover from Pinelands.

Monday - 0 miles

SORE.  Yeah, I'm hobbling like an old man today.  Stairs are difficult.  In particular my calves and quads are beat up.  I'd like to thank the Bove family for putting me up for a couple days but it was time to head home.   It was a long drive and getting out of the car was a rough experience.

Tuesday - 0 miles

SORE.  Stairs are still tough. Forgive me for continuing to harp on Pinelands but I wanted to compare the splits from my two 50ks.  Indulge me, won't you?

The usual caveats about Garmin data apply but still, what a difference.  Obviously it's hard to compare courses but neither was dramatically harder than the other.  Pinelands had considerable more elevation but TARC had more of the traditional singletrack trail hazards that we're used to.

Of TARC I had written, "Ultimately my main problem was that I was running at a pace for the first two laps that exceeded my training."  I probably should have said "level of fitness" instead of "training."  While I ramped up my mileage before both races, I think it was the cumulative effect of twelve strong months of running that led to my Pinelands success.  What a difference a year makes!

Wednesday - East Providence, RI - 4 miles

Went for a very easy run at lunch time.  It was cold and windy, especially as I went over the bridge.  Rain threatened but never materialized.  Ran the trails in Blackstone Park for a couple miles before returning to the office.  My calves were grumpy by the end.  Legs are definitely still sluggish but they were feeling better by the end of the day.

Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 3.8 miles

210 push-ups (standard/military/wide/decline) 40/30/50/40/30/30

Stayed home with Ezri who is doing much better.  No pain and she can move herself around well - now we just need to get her used to using chairs instead of lying on the couch all day.  My mother-in-law came over for a bit and I got in a quick run with the dog.  Legs were feeling more springy than yesterday and the pace was peppy, especially for Oliver.

Friday - East Providence, RI - 5 miles

Another lunch run and the legs feel like they're back to normal.  Pace was snappy and I explored a few new streets.  Some weird blister pain popped up on the side of my foot with a mile to go which was kind of annoying.  Otherwise it was a hot but fun run.

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 9 miles

Garvin invited a bunch of us to his place for an early morning trail run and breakfast.  He had planned out a good route using Browing Woods and DuVal trail.  Being only a couple miles away, I decided to ride my bike over which was proved how poor my bike riding has become.  We had a large group and headed down Worden's Pond before taking the Heart trail to Browning briefly.  Then we began a thorny, marshy bushwack.  Garvin and Galoob maintain that there were the skeletons of trails here but I think they're full of it.  Eventually we passed through the bog and arrived at the dirt bike trails that weave around the Sand Pits.

I had no idea these trails were so numerous and far reaching.  I'll definitely be back to check 'em out again.  After reaching Sand Plains Trail, Chris and Nate peeled off back to the house while the rest of us continued on.  By the time we reached the DuVal trail my legs were beginning to tire and once we reached the road I decided to bail out and just head back solo along Gravelly Hill.  No point in overdoing it on a recovery week.  Once everyone got back Chris provided a delicious breakfast of french toast bake, potatoes and of course mighty bacon.  Thanks to Chris and Katie for the tasty meal!

Sunday - 0 miles

Yesterday's run reminded me that it takes a while to recovery from a hard effort 50k.  I shall be taking it easy today.

Weekly mileage: 22 miles

Year to date: 863 miles

Fun Fact: lowest mileage week since 10.14.13