Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 08 - 2/20/17 - 2/26/17

Mon. (2/20):
5mi. - (42:12 ) - Monday morning easy 5 miler on local roads and some soggy trails.  Took it easy as I felt tired.  Was going to double later in the afternoon with another short recovery run but walked the length of Napatree Point to Fort Mansfield instead.  It was great weather and the kids enjoyed it.  I was way too tired to run again later on in the afternoon.

Tue. (2/21):
17mi. - (2:08:XX) - medium long run that ended up turning long run with Jonny.  He planned out a new route in North Stonington that was relaxing, rolling, and enjoyable.  We even decided to jump into Tefftweald Preserve and its trails.  Always fun exploring a trail system/open space that is nearby but yet I've never been on before.  Cool spot. I did have a GPS pilot error (forgot to restart my watch) so I had to adjust numbers afterward.  Ending up being about 16.3 miles total.  I'll call it 17 with the time on feet.

Wed. (2/22):
8mi. (1:00:28) - from home to my parents.  Kind of tired legs but not too bad (when aren't they tired?).  Looped around into desolate Richmond Country Club before getting to my parents to tack on some distance. Saw a Big Brown Bat (not the standard, common Little Brown Bat) flying around, low to the ground, disoriented and confused by the warm weather but lack of insects.  Kind of a cool sighting.

Thu. (2/23):
8mi. - (59:56) - down to Grills Sanctuary and back.  Ran into four former students burning a doobie on the trails.  I've a sneaking suspicion it was terribly awkward for them.

Fri. (2/24):
7mi. - (53:39) - super nice weather for easy Kenyon Crossroads Loop.  The preserve is looking quite nice with cleared trails and multiple kiosks/signposts.

Sat. (2/25):
Look at the impressive head on that incredible pecker!
(image from
11mi. - (1:29:29) - woke up slightly pinched from too much fun and a very late Friday night out with coworkers at juvenile "Indoor Games Tournament" (bowling, shuffleboard, pool, and pitch) -- I lost.  The weather, despite beginning to cloud up, was perfect for trail running.  Just wandered around aimlessly on Burlingame campground trails and local areas.  I enjoyed myself immensely with three different Mourning Cloak sightings, (first of 2017), heard Wood Frogs at Topouysett Pond , and my first ever Red Headed Woodpecker (incredible!) in Main Camp at site 84.  Fantastic day! Can't wait for specific training and racing to be over with so I can just do this type of stuff most of the time instead of worrying about pacing, distances, etc.

Sun. (2/26):
19mi. - (2:03:XX)- 2E+11M+1T+5E. Ran the whole "work" part of it without looking at watch (other than the 1T). Was too hot in most of them (instead of 6:18-6:22ish) many were 6:08-6:15ish. Some miles into strong headwind so I overworked and a bunch were with tailwind (so not as hard/fast as effort appears). The 1T was impromptu. Need to get used to hurting on tired legs. Good day and end to the week.

Total:75 miles
YTD:535 miles

Decent week but with the increasing mix of trails and nice weather, the Fun Factor and Satisfaction Indices are on the upswing with major exponential growth.  Gotta pace myself with that as it is likely to induce poor decision making later in the season (late April/May) such as quitting my job and becoming a professional, full-time naturalist and gentleman farmer (wonder what the annual salary is for that?). Half marathon "test" next weekend in Westerly.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Week 07 - 2/13/17 - 2/19/17

Mon. (2/13):
7mi. - (51:05) - local road loops and was really lacking in motivation.  The wind was incredible (WNW 20-40 mph).  Yuck.

Tue. (2/14):
8mi. - (59:26) - 'Alentines 'Ay (a day that is lacking in D or V for many people). OK run but still not feeling great nor motivated.  Managed to get in a decent loop of lower Ashaway roads.  However, worn out and have mild cold (headache, stuffy, breathing issues). Just not feeling it.

Wed. (2/15):
15mi. - (1:47:32) - slept in and skipped morning workout.  As such, had to once again try to do my second quality run (Q2) in the afternoon.  I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Didn't feel like I had 8E + 6 x 1K @ I + 3E in me.  So instead I just logged miles.  Ran out to 91, onto Kings Factory Rd, Shumankanuc Hill Road, Burdickville Road, back home.  It was actually enjoyable and I didn't feel too badly.  Rolling hill fun.  Glad I did it, even if it didn't have true hard, workout effort embedded in it. 7:10 pace overall on that route is still quality for a regular run.
Rolling fun with little traffic. 

Thu. (2/16):
7mi. - (52:10) - typical Shannock loop from Horseshoe Falls.  Enjoyed running at this time of the day (1000).  Man,  if only I were retired, unemployed, rich, or whatever. Could I log 90-100 miles/week regularly? I truly think it would be possible. Unfortunately, when I got home, as I was bounding up the stairs to take a shower, I was "stabbed" in the lower leg with a prison shiv or something.  On my lower right, lateral side of leg, (above ankle, adjacent to Achilles tendon) I felt really burning sharp pain.  It abated a little after 10 minutes or so but for the rest of the day it was sore, slightly swollen, and I can feel a weird moving/clicking sound when I rub my fingers across it.  I think it is a tendon (attachment to Peroneus brevis) . My wife, who is smarter than me, thought it was my soleus muscle.  Who knows? It doesn't seem/feel severe.  Hopefully it goes away on its own quickly.

leg muscle and tendon diagram - Google Search:
Show me where it hurts...
Fri. (2/17):
0 -- my second zero this year.  I was close to running but decided not to due to the weird lower leg pain.  I've never felt anything like it. Not bad--just "there", clicking and tight.

Sat. (2/18):
10mi. - (1:09:50) - fun CnB loop in No Sto and back home.  Felt really good and was sort of getting off on the increasingly nice weather.  Lower leg was not an issue although I did stretch and took 750mg of Vitamin I immediately after the run.

5mi. - (44:45) - slow plod down into Kenyon Crossroads Preserve and a few side streets.  The weather was just way too nice not to do it.  Laid back and pleasant.  Still pretty sloppy on trails, especially in lower areas/shaded spots.  But, it IS melting.  Love it.

Sun. (2/19):
18mi. (2:02:15) - from Weekapaug Breachway.  4E +2T +~60:00E + 2T + 2E.  No lower leg pain/discomfort.   The first T I had to work what felt like more 10K effort as I was into a nice headwind. On the return, after looping around in Watch Hill, I had the tailwind but not as much gas in the tank. It still worked out overall.  So warm out (52 F)! I was sweating!

Total: 70 miles
YTD:460 miles

Barely got to 70 again.  But with a zero on Friday, it'll have to do.  Some days are better than others, but that's running for you -- just like life. Sometimes so awesome and fun, sometimes silly, sometimes a total grind and pain in the ass.  The end of February is drawing near! Can't wait for March!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week 06 - 2/6/17 - 2/12/17

Mon. (2/6):
7mi. (1:00:20) - very easy recovery run on mainly roads with a quick dip into Pelloni Preserve.  I even stopped briefly to tape/mark where eventually I hope to make a short single track spur trail down to a really cool, secluded rock crossing in Tomaquag Brook.  Really nice out there this afternoon.  I love no pressure recovery runs.

Tue. (2/7):
7mi. -(1:06:26) - a blah day turned into a good one.  I wasn't motivated at all to run on roads in the drizzly rain so I ran trails in Yawgoog.  I had a blast running on mostly familiar trails and then decided to take a green blazed trail that I had never been on before (how's that happen?).  It was quite fun despite descending down into "Death Valley" (their term, not mine) along the very SW border of the property.  Also saw a huge gathering of 36(!) large and boisterous ravens roosting in oaks.  Awesome stuff!

Wed. (2/8):
15mi. - (1:39:08) - 4 x 2T workout (with 2:00 recoveries).  After skipping the morning run, I was really, really dreading this one.  I ran 3E down to Rte. 216 and just ran 2 mile chunks back and forth, over and over again.  Was overdoing it a bit as I was overcompensating slightly for the minor headwind and I simply wanted them done. Good workout.  I always enjoy talking myself through it as in "It's okay, just do 2 x 2T and see how you feel....Well, you can do one more....Okay, well now that you've done three, you HAVE TO finish the fourth/final one". Weird, but it helps.

Thu. (2/9):
10mi.  - (1:22:02) - super fun run in snowstorm/shit show.  Canceled school. Wandered around a mix of local roads and trails.  There were several peals of rolling thunder throughout the run! I really enjoyed myself other than the stinging, sideways, sleeting snow on my face and eyeballs.  Near the end of the run a RI State Trooper pulled alongside of me and laughing, said to me: "Pretty hardcore to be out running in this.  You have some brass ones."  I disagree--there's no "hardcore" at all ...just childish fun.

Fri (2/10):
5mi. - (40:54) - just trying to get my legs back as I felt pretty worn out.  Standard local loop.

Sat. (2/11):
18mi. - (2:00:10) - 3E + 11M + 4E.  Parked at Ninigret Park and ran down into Charlestown and South Kingstown on flat and slushy roads.  Felt pretty decent for much of the marathon pace work.  However, started bonking and getting slightly nauseous on the cooldown. Glad I got it done.

Sun. (2/12):
8mi. -(1:00:40) - pretty tired (from Saturday night birthday party at the Malted Barley as well as yesterday's workout/long run).  Wasn't into it at all but, by mile two, I was loosened up and enjoying myself.  Started to snow and increased in intensity with each passing mile.  Last 2 miles home started to get pretty slippery and I was having a difficult time stabilizing myself on tired legs.

Total:70 miles
YTD: 390 miles

Had to work to get to 70 this week but I did it without a usual double so I'll take it. I'm pretty pleased with the two workouts and REALLY enjoyed the snow day/snow storm run on Thursday.  I would like to stay around 70-75 miles for the next several weeks but we shall see how life unfolds.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Week 05 - 1/30/17 - 2/5/17

Mon. (1/30):
10mi. - (1:12:58)- a typical CnB loop around/into North Stonington and back.  Felt decent but some tiny hints of fatigue.

Tue. (1/31):
8mi. -(1:06:37) - small snow storm lead to an early release from school at 1235.  Great fun running in YakTrax on a mix of several different trail properties and roads.  I did have to keep continually stopping to adjust/fix the YT.  As I headed down towards Kenyon Crossroads Preserve, I noticed a small pair of shoe prints in the snow (woman?).  I kept following them down into the preserve and began wondering if I would catch/run into her. "Is she a fit runner? Maybe she's hot.  Wonder if she lives close by...".  Alas, it turned out to be my wife who was also out for a run in the snow.  She didn't appreciate my running up behind her and scaring her.  Guess I have the answers to the above mental questions.

Wed. (2/1):
11mi. -(1:13:22) - YMCA treadmill.  Got kind of a late start so felt rushed with a very abbreviated warm up and cool down. 1E+9M+1E.  I felt fine except for being inside on a treadmill.  Yuck.

6mi. - (45:07) - easy local roads loop after school.  Felt really good too.  Usually I drag ass on the Wednesday afternoon double.  Guess I didn't put in enough hard work this morning at the Y.

Thu. (2/2):
8mi. - (58:43) - enjoyable loop around Chase Hill Road and back.  I was dragging a bit on the two climbs (Chase Hill and Maxson Hill), but other than that I felt surprisingly good.  Didn't feel like I was working hard.

Fri. (2/3):
5mi.- (39:05) - easy Tomaquag Valley loop as a shakeout of sorts before race on Saturday.  Felt rather blah and breathing was "off" (lower temps? cold for once? I'm fat and gross?)

Sat. (2/4):
7+mi.- RACE: Old Mountain Field Trail 5K.  Results here. Pretty fun race number 2 in the SC4S Race Series. I love the course set up this way versus the older version/direction in previous years.  Per usual it is fun passing/beating young 18-19 year olds who are obviously much faster than me but can't handle terrain and single track as well.  I finished 4th overall in 20:08.  WTAC missed the team win again but it was a close battle with two other clubs.  I wisely skipped out on going to the Mews Tavern for pints and a burger after the race.  Instead I went home and did some basic chores around the house. No need to be hammered by 1500 on a Saturday (or any day for that matter). Well played, if I do say so myself.

Sun. (2/5):
21+mi.  (2:42:21) - super fun  long run with Jonny from his house. This was run with zero marathon work/workout in it.  Jonny planned out a perfect tour of roads with larger chunks of trails interspersed.  I really enjoyed it despite being a bit fatigued from previous day's race.  It is so nice to just run trails and roads and not worry about pace at all or specific blocks of marathon work.

Total: 78 miles
YTD: 320 miles

A good, higher mileage week with some quality runs in there.  Other than Friday's shakeout, I felt consistently pretty good.  That is a good sign.  Now if I can just keep this up and cut back on alcohol intake, maybe I'll make some gains in fitness.