Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weekly Log: 3.23.15 - 3.29.15

Last full week of March?  That's disturbing.  The amount of snow still on the ground should be disturbing but I've more or less accepted it as a constant companion now.

This weekend is the rescheduled Brrr-lingame 10 Miler but it conflicts with a business trip so I'm out of luck.  However I do go to Atlanta for the weekend so that should be fun.  With my flight/work schedule I won't have much time to run but I'm hopeful I can get out there for at least one quick jaunt.

Monday - 0 miles

Sick!  Woke up with a frog in my throat and a nagging cough.  I also had PT during the day so no running.

Tuesday - Providence, RI - 8 miles

100 push-ups (standard) 20/20/20/20/20

Still sick but I wanted to get out there.  At lunchtime it was in the mid-30s and pretty great for running.  I went across the bridge and tried the Blackstone Park trails which were still pretty ice/snowy.  I jumped onto the Blackstone Blvd walking path but soon realized why all my fellow runners were sticking to the sidewalks on each side of the boulevard - it was a snow and mud mess!  I stuck it out for a while until I jumped onto side roads and began to drift though neighborhoods with no real purpose.  Eventually I ended up near Miriam Hospital - whoa I went a lot further than I had planned.  I made my way back to Blackstone Park in the same meandering fashion and slipped on the trails a bit more before returning to work.  Fun run and other than a lot of phlegm I felt good.

Wednesday - East Providence/North Kingstown, RI - 12.5 miles

A beautiful sunny day in the 40s so I was psyched to get back out there.  At lunch time I hit the road in the opposite direction of yesterday.  I wore the minimal NB 730s which I hoped I wouldn't regret.  The plan was to take the trails along the reservoir and then reach the Seekonk Meadows trail network.  My exploration there would be based on how long it took me to get there.

That didn't happen.  After a quarter mile of trail the going was slow and there would definitely need to be more melting before they were ready for prime time.  Instead I jumped on the nearest road and decided to run another loop of Seekonk country roads.  I had mapped this out as well and was pretty sure it would be around 10 miles.  I had run this loop before but from the opposite direction.  I didn't think it would matter but I managed to take one road to a dead end.  After that I was on the right track and the pace was in the 7:20s which felt good.  Towards the end of the run I returned to Rhode Island and my calves were beginning to feel it.

They tightened up as the day went on and I decided to stop at Rome Point on the way to band practice.  This short run seemed to help the calves loosen up.  The main trail was in good shape but the trail that hugs the northern boundary still had a ways to melt and by that point I was pretty tired so it was a trudge.  Still nice to get out there though and enjoy these last few days of snowpack.

Thursday - 0 miles

155 push-ups (standard/military/wide) 20/15/25/20/15/20/30

Calves were feeling it this morning.  PT in the afternoon and no running today.

Friday - Charlestown, RI - 3.6 miles

Off to Atlanta but I had time to take the dog for a run after getting Ezri on the bus.  I had hoped the rain would be done but no such luck.  We got drenched and then it was smelly dog drying back at the house.

Bumpy ride down to Atlanta but it's a pretty cool city.  It's also pretty cool.  55 degrees (they're having a cold front this weekend - it'll be 70 the day after I leave of course.)

Saturday - Atlanta, GA - 3.2 miles

I had the hotel wake me up at 4:30 so that I could get at least one short run while I was down here.  I checked out the nearby Entertainment District which contains the Olympic Park, Aquarium and CNN Building among other things.  Interesting run with the bright logos of the buildings and billboards shining down on me on otherwise dark deserted streets.  Only the occasional cop car on the roads.  Oh and it was cold - 38 degrees!  I didn't really expect that.  Spacewatch had trouble getting a signal with all the tall buildings around.  I needed to find breakfast because I was going to be working a registration table all day.  Luckily I spied a Waffle House and grabbed some food to go.

Sunday - 0 miles

I had to fly home early and no run was happening later in the day.  Props to everyone who was at Brrr-lingame.  With a little more snow in the night it looked like a special race.

Weekly Mileage: 27.4 miles

Year to Date: 352.1 miles

Not as many miles as I'd like and I wished I had been able to spend more time running down south but I'm feeling pretty good overall.  We'll see how I fare at Big River next weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weekly Log: 3.16.15 - 3.22.15

Monday - 0 miles

I had PT at lunch so no time for a run today.  The stinging pains that afflicted me after yesterday's group run seem to have abated so that's good.  They did some dry needling at PT which is sort of like acupuncture except the needles go deeper into the muscle.  Between that and the deep shoulder massage I was very sore for the rest of the day.

Tuesday - Seekonk, MA - 6.2 miles

50 push-ups (standard) 10/10/10/10/10

After a long break from push-ups, I finally started back up again.  For awhile I was worried about the neck thing but the PT guys said it would be fine to resume - no pull-ups for now though.  I'll be starting off slow with the push-ups though.

At lunch I went over to the Wheeler School in Seekonk for another of my patented loops.  I wore my minimal NB 730s which I haven't used in forever.  I wasn't sure how my legs would feel but I was hoping to put a good effort in.  After about a mile I picked up the pace and a downhill section further on allowed me to pick it up further.  I was feeling good throughout and I finished the six mile loop with a 6:35 pace which I was really happy with.  Shoes felt good although my calves were pretty sore afterwards.

Wednesday - East Providence, RI - 4.6 miles

80 push-ups (standard/military/wide) 20/15/10/20/15

First time in quite awhile that I've run straight from the office.  The slow melt has finally made the local roads safer and I battled the chilly wind and did a short out and back to the Tockwotton (a big apartment complex across from India Point Park.)  Calves are still pretty sore from yesterday.  It was mostly a sidewind so it wasn't too bad but occasionally I'd be buffeted by a nasty headwind.

Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 3 miles

I took the dog out in the morning for the usual.  Cold out there (around 20 degrees), a reminder that spring is not here yet.

Friday - East Providence, RI - 10 miles

I went for a longer than usual lunch run over to the East Bay Bike Path.  Normally I'd drive to the path but today I just ran the 2+ miles from the office.  It was a beautiful cool day and the bike path was mostly clear though there were a couple snow/ice sections to cross.  There were only a few folks taking advantage of the quiet conditions.  Enjoyable run and I was pleased with the mid-7 pace.

Snow began falling as I made my way home.  We had a good gig at Tara's and there were lots of folks there despite the snow.  Supposedly it's the first day of spring but it sure doesn't feel like it.

Saturday - 0 miles

Sunday - Charlestown, RI - 12.3 miles

A late morning run.  It's always tough to get out the door as lack of motivation sets in.  I took Oliver out for 2.5 miles - luckily conditions were still pretty frozen over so he didn't get too filthy.  After dropping him off I set out for Browning Woods, hopeful that the trails would be runnable.  I was fighting a cold but once the run began I felt good, though phlegmmy.  The trail was packed down and icy and the running wasn't bad.  As the trail climbed there were even a few sections of exposed trail.  Amazing!  I decided I would take the Heart trail to Worden's Pond Road if it was in decent condition.  Despite only a single set of tracks the footing was very good and once a set of snowmobile/ATV tracks appeared it got even better.  I then took roads the rest of the way home.  By the time I reached Old Coach I was tired and had a lot of leg tightness.  A slow rewarding run.

Weekly Mileage: 36.9 miles
Year to Date: 324.7 miles

A good week of running with some longer runs and actual trail work.  Despite the snow, spring is here and soon all the trails will be ours again!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Weekly Log: 3.9.15-3.15.15

Another week and another race.   The Brrr-lingame 10 Mile Trail race is on Saturday and it will prove to be a completely different sort of challenge.  I think everyone had hoped that the trails would be in better condition than they are but winter will have the last laugh.  Let's hope Jonny gets out there every day to stomp 'em into shape.

Monday - 0 miles

My legs are pretty beat up from yesterday's 1/2 marathon.  My hamstrings are especially sore.  I guess that's what happens when you run 12.5 miles at a hard effort with no speed work in months.

Tuesday - East Providence, RI - 5.2 miles

It finally feels like spring with temps in the 40s and melting snow all over the place!  Based on how the snow is retreating from the roads I had hoped that the East Bay Bike Path would be clear (or at least clear-ish).  No such luck so I parked at the path and stuck to neighborhood roads.  Discovered a road called Seth Street which I considered putting a segment on but it's pretty short.  My legs are still really sore from the race and I didn't have much pep.

Wednesday - East Providence, RI - 2.7 miles

So the East Bay Bike Path was a wash.  What about the Ten Mile River bikepath?  This one I knew had been plowed and featured some singletrack.  Surely with the warm weather I'd be able to venture further than before.  Not quite.  The section that was previously runnable was still runnable but it was tough going the rest of the way.  I didn't quite make it to Slater Park and had to take several breaks on the way back. If this is what the trails are like on Saturday then we're all in real trouble.  By the time I got back to the car I was tired and frustrated and didn't feel like tacking on any more.

Thursday - Charlestown/North Kingstown, RI - 10 miles

I took Oliver out in the cold dark morning for 2.5 miles.  I wasn't too gung ho but Amanda was appreciative that I took him out and once we were moving it was fine.  Couple slippery spots with all the recent melt/freezing.

After work I went to the band house and did 7.5 miles before practice.  I was feeling pretty tired but at least the soreness from the race finally wore off.  After doing the Snuff Mill loop I opted to jump into Rome Point.  It was starting to get dark and the trails were in pretty good shape and fairly runnable.  I didn't wear my knee band thing and janky knee started to get achy by the end.

Friday - 0 miles

An intentional rest day before tomorrow's race plus I had another doctor's appointment in the morning for the neck thing.  Scanning messages in the waiting room when I learn that Galoob postponed tomorrow's race due to shitty conditions.  Apparently the melting has actually made the course worse and with heavy rain all morning it would probably not be a great idea to run.  Oh well.  Unfortunately it looks like the make-up date will conflict with my trip to Atlanta in a couple weeks so I may have to miss this one.

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 2.8 miles

Well no Brrr-lingame today and with the rainy morning I can't say I miss it.  Amanda went up to Brown for a meditation retreat so it fell on me to take Oliver out in the morning.  The rain wasn't too heavy but drying him off afterwards is a pain.

Sunday - Westerly, RI - 8 miles

Fun group run with WTAC from 5k's house.  Chris brought his friend Mike Vqnce.  The pace was pretty peppy right off the bat and it was a little more work than I bargained on but I hung in there.  We ran down to Misquamicut Beach and the rising sun was amazing.  The short beach run was tough but enjoyable.  I had told Jonny I wanted to tack on a few more miles but once we stopped at the cars I lost any motivation to continue.  Sorry Jonny.  Luckily Muddy was a better friend and continued on with him.  Then I saw that Jonny ended up tacking on an additional twelve miles so I don't feel too bad.

As the afternoon wore on I started getting brief intermiddant stinging pain behind the janky knee.  Not sure what that's all about but hopefully it's a temporary pain that'll be gone by tomorrow.

Weekly Mileage: 28.7 miles

Year to Date: 256.7 miles

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon 2015

Official time: 1:23:09.   15th overall.  6th in Age Group.  Results here.

Over the last couple months I've been slowly upping my mileage and getting back into shape, running with no real purpose other than to get in the miles.  I signed up for this race back in early October and it snuck up on me, in part because this is a spring race yet we're mired in an endless winter.  But the race would not be denied and suddenly it was time to run a half marathon, the farthest I've run since Bimbler's Bluff if you can believe it.

Thanks to buffalo wings and daylight saving time I woke up tired and bloated.  I skipped my usual breakfast and was picked up by Muddy in his fearsome truck.  I was worried about the parking issue but we got to the closest lot at Matunuck Elementary with plenty of time and walked down to the race.   Once we arrived it was clear that things were different this year.  The start/finish had been moved to the entrance of South Kingstown town beach and the frozen beach road made for a slippery registration/port-o-let area.  We also learned that a section of the course in Green Hill had to be omitted due to ice which bummed people out.

After greeting the usual folks, Muddy, Jeff and I went out for a couple miles as a warm-up.  I wasn't gung-ho about this race and my frozen feet were doing little to improve my spirits.  But the warm-up helped and by the time we finish my extremities were warm and the sun was shining.  Though I had no idea what kind of a pace I'd maintain, I was now looking forward to it.  Feeling warm and spurned on by my compatriots, I stripped down to shorts and singlet, omitting the beanie but keeping the gloves.

We formed a makeshift starting line at the entrance to the beach and took off.  I quickly found myself in about 7th place and realized that the  6:15 pace was not doable.  I eased off and watched Muddy, Jeff and others quickly put distance on me.  More folks passed me but I tried not to get pulled along - I wasn't sure how this race was going to play out and I had no desire to fall apart later.

By mile three we had completed the out and backs and passed the beach entrance.  Now the long lonely race began in earnest.  Jeff Duda quickly passed me along with a couple more guys and the way they gapped me was discouraging.  I glanced at my watch.  6:40ish.  Dropping to over a 7 minute pace seemed inevitable and I cursed the 8+ miles I still had to run.  Plus the sun which had warmed us pre-race had vanished behind a grey curtain and I was not as warm as I had hoped.  I wished I had kept the hat.

As I began the long slog down Matunuck Schoolhouse Road there were two guys ahead of me by a couple hundred feet.    Beyond them the rest of the field was waaaay off in the distance.  Behind me I could hear a female voice thanking all the volunteers she ran past.  People had the option to start the race 45 minutes early if they were going to be out there a while and I began to pass them along this road which helped break up the monotony.  I managed to keep the pace in the 7:30s-7:40s on this long stretch and as we approached Green Hill I closed the gap on the guys ahead of me.

The ascent to Green Hill isn't much of a hill but it was enough to slow the guy ahead of me.  I overtook him but once it leveled out the top two women passed me, followed by that guy.  I tried to hang with them but they gapped me.  I popped a gel and once we were back on Green Hill Beach Road I began to feel a little peppier.  I reeled that guy in again just as we hit the outgoing runners and passed him for good.  Back on Matunuck Schoolhouse, I began to pull alongside another guy.  Beyond him was one of the women but the other was long gone.

I passed him just before the righthand turn onto Moonstone Beach Road and caught the woman with a half mile to go on Cards Pond Road.  The adrenaline was helping with this last stretch and I managed 6:25 splits for miles 11 & 12.  There was no bumpy finish on the grass this year - instead we continued along the road and finished at the entrance to the beach.  So I finished in almost the same amount of time as last year...only the course was 1/2 mile shorter.  But considering that I'm getting over the janky knee and beginning to return to decent mileage, I'll take it!  

Friday, March 6, 2015

Weekly Log: 3.2.15 - 3.8.15

March is here!  And so is the Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon.  I've run it three times and I signed up way back at the beginning of October during happier running times.  I hadn't been getting the TriMom emails so I was sort of hoping that I had somehow not registered but sadly TriMom confirmed that I am in fact signed up.  Well I don't drop out of races no matter how ill-prepared I am.  Despite sounding doomy and gloomy I'm actually looking forward to this race.  It's always a good time and I feel like it's important to go and give the middle finger to Father Winter.  But my last road race was the Mews 6.9k and I'm curious to see how I'll do based on my lack of speed and distance work.  I am prepared to temper my expectations since I don't see myself besting last year's PR.

Monday - Charlestown, RI - 3.7 miles

More goddamn snow came in the night.  Will it ever end. Plow guy came for the fifth time this winter and luckily it warmed up and melted the new stuff.  I was working from home and took the dog out at midday for a short run.  I'm happy to see lots of melting snow but it made for a slushy run and the dog was filthy when we returned.  Decided not to go out again since I'd like to take it easy this week in preparation for the race.

Tuesday - 0 miles

I left work early for my mom's birthday so no run today.  Kinda bummed as I'm not planning on running tomorrow but maybe an unexpected taper is the best thing for this weekend.

Wednesday - 0 miles

Another zero as today was my first PT session for the bulging disc in my neck.  It's right below my office which is very convenient.  The guy did some work on my neck and then put my head in this traction device for 10 minutes to pull the vertebrae apart.  Good times!

Thursday - Charlestown, RI - 3.8 miles

More friggin' snow.  This one was sort of a surprise wallop.  The snow just kept coming all day - thick and heavy.  I worked from home and didn't have much motivation but finally set out at lunch for a short run in the storm.  The snow was whipping me in the face throughout but I must admit that I was laughing and having a good time.  The nearby roads weren't plowed and it was fun stomping through the fresh powder.  The temp was warm and I really enjoyed being out there.  Finally scored a decent ice beard for the season.


Friday - Charlestown, RI - 2.8 miles

I grudgingly agreed to take the dog out this morning.  Luckily we had gotten plowed in the night or I probably would have gone back to bed.  At 10 degrees it was cold but once we got moving it was fine.  Deathly quiet out there and everything was caked in snow.  The moon was so bright.  I didn't want to go initially but I enjoyed our short run.

I may be sick of this shit but I must admit it was pretty
spectacular this morning

After the dog jog my janky knee seemed to ache a bit.   Not what I wanted to feel two days before a long road race.  I decided to abort my lunch run and play it safe.

Saturday - Charlestown, RI - 3.2 miles

My poor wife was tied up with work stuff all day so it fell on me to take the dog out.  Beautiful day out there and I'm surprised that there's still snow on the trees.  Another slushy run that resulted in a messy dog.  Yesterday's day long knee ache seems to have passed and there were no ill effects from today's short run.

Sunday - Ocean's Run 1/2 Marathon - 16.7 miles

Shortened course due to winter.  Official time: 1:23:09.  15th overall.  Report forthcoming.

Weekly Mileage: 31. miles

Year to Date: 251.9 miles