That said, I've got five days left to complete this silly Strava challenge I've set my eyes on. 16,404 feet of climbing in July. 5700 feet to go. Madness? Probably but I shall give it a shot.
Monday - Providence, RI - 7.3 milesOh so hot outside! This is pure folly but I parked on the East Side and made my way to Jenkes Road, a steep mother of a road that I knew could not be avoided. There was a young woman running the hill as well. She was only venturing half as high before returning to the bottom but she was in sweats! True madness and I commended her. I switched between Jenkes and a more moderate climb and ended up ascending it eight times which was brutal. There was some powerhiking by the end. But it worked. 1050 feet on the day.
Tuesday - Charlestown, RI - 8 milesI was working from home so I knew I'd be running those roads above my house. It was even hotter than yesterday and by the time I set out the cloud cover was gone, vaporized by the hell sun. I took a bottle of water on this one and was taking slugs early and often. There were a couple walking breaks. The heat was oppressive and I began to think about shortening the run. I took it one hill at a time though and eventually eked out the 8 miles I was looking for. I was very proud of getting this one done and the cold shower afterwards was killer. However Strava absolutely gyped me compared to a shorter run there only a few days prior. That should've been over 1k but in the end they only gave me 825 feet. What could I do but take it and shake my fist at the hill.
Wednesday - Exeter, RI - 8 miles190 push-ups (standard/wide) 45/45/40/25/40
I couldn't stomach the idea of running in the city with 90 degree midday. So I took my lunch hour at the end of the day and headed south. After scanning Jonny's feed for choice routes, I settled on a dirt road section of Ten Rod Road that intersects with the New London Turnpike. They were hilly as advertised and very similar to the hill > valley > hill format at Pardon Joslin Road. Actually there was more vehicle traffic than I had anticipated though most drove slowly and gave me plenty of room. The road had a good amount of shade and that helped make the run tolerable. Bugs weren't too bad either. Near the end of my run I came upon a biker who had gotten his hog stuck on a root when he had attempted to turn around. I asked if I could help but he seemed to ignore me in favor of cursing to himself and revving the bike very loudly. I left him too it. As usual the last few climbs were brutal and contained a bit of hiking. Still I got it done and hit 1000' for elevation which is what I was looking for.
Thursday - Exeter/East Providence, RI - 14.2 milesTwo days to go and 2800 feet to go. It's getting down to the wire and I'm not sure I'm going to get this done. In the morning I returned to the Fisherville Preserve and ran repeats on the Pardon Joslin dirt road. It was incredibly humid and the air felt like soup. The deer flies were mercifully sporadic however the little black flies hounded me throughout the run. After yesterday afternoon's run my legs were really feeling all this climbing. It didn't take long before all these factors made me consider cutting this one short. Maybe just four climbs instead of six. But I knew that would probably be the end of the challenge. Dutifully I trudged back down and grinded out two more, though they were very tough. Afterwards I was very satisfied to get it done and I collected another large basket of raspberries in the parking lot. 1100 feet on this one.
The morning run was good but I knew I had to head back out at lunch to grab some more elevation is I was going to have a chance to finish on Friday. It was 88 degrees out and I had little desire but I went back to the roads above the East Bay bike path and went to work, using the same decent hill along with a small trail network at the base. Thankfully, there were storm clouds rolling through which provided plenty of shade and wind. This made the work tolerable. Back at the office, I was really happy to see that I got 800 feet out of this one. That leaves with with just under 1000 feet to go.
Friday - Charlestown, RI - 8.8 milesI had the day off so in the morning I set out to get this thing done. There was no real choice - I went back to the roads above my house and did repeat after repeat. It wasn't too hot yet and there was a decent amount of shade to make use of but it took it's toll. My legs were toast and it became really hard. I wanted 8 miles but I was happy to do a little more to seal the deal. I ended up hitting 1100 feet on this run. Success!
Saturday - 0 milesNo running today after getting this damn challenge done. I was happy to take a rest day. Besides I already have 46 miles on the week.
Sunday - Westerly, RI - 10 milesIt was a family beach day and originally I was going to run for a while on the roads near Misquamicut but once we got there I decided to run less and just stick to a barefoot beach run. This proved to be the right choice. I ran two miles down to the breachway and as I turned around who do I see but Mike B. He spotted me running by and quickly joined me. We ended up following the beach for five miles to the Ocean House and then I left Mike when we got back to Misquamicut beach. The beach was mobbed and the conversation was lively. Fun run and I was glad for the impromptu company. Huge waves today made for fun in the ocean too.
Weekly Mileage: 56.5 miles
Year to Date: 1098.4 miles
Not only did I hit my elevation goal but I also got a goodly amount of mileage for the week. 6000 feet of climbing for this last week of July. Happy to be done with the challenge and I'm looking forward to not chasing elevation as we head into August.