Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A rescheduled Burlingame race, and the big melt continues: week of 3-23 to 3-29

Looks like the Brrr-lingame 10-miler is on for next Sunday, so there's that!  The trails should be manageable, and the weather this week should contribute to melting the rest of the white shit into the ground.  I need some muddy, ice free trails, dammit!  This road running business, you can have it.  I love the beach too, but even that doesn't compare to a good run in the woods...I'm also pretty keen on getting back in the water.  I haven't surfed in a couple of months at least, and I'm dying to get out there.  Don't think I've ever been out this long...

Monday, 3-23 - 0 Miles - Finshed putting together the big basketball hoop that I picked up at Dick's on Sunday.  The kids immediately started playing, in spite of the windy, cold weather...I just wanted to get the Hell inside :)

Tuesday, 3-24 - 2 Miles (Trail) - Short Lantern Hill run.  Had a small window of opportunity before I picked up the child from school, so I went to check out Lantern.  It's 50/50, half clear and half packed snow/ice.  Wore my Yaks and needed them.  Would have been in trouble without.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Shenanigans! Week of 3-16 to 3-22

After posting a paltry 8 miles running last week, I'm ready to get some good runs in over the next few days...my friend Paul mentioned that there's a 5k in Mystic on Saturday, so I might jump in on that?  Otherwise, just fun runs, and perhaps some trails please???

Monday, 3-16 - 15 Miles (Beach/Road) - Long Watch Hill/Misquamicut beach run, roads to finish.  Got done with karate class and headed to Watch Hill, where I decided to do something long-ish.  Did the Napatree Point out and back, then down to the lighthouse and back, then hopped onto the beach below TS's place and headed east.  Lots of beach access bailout options, but I felt pretty good.  Low tide helped quite a bit, and with a bright Sun above and the wind at my back, I decided to run the entire length of beach to the Weekapaug breachway.  The wind really kicked up out of the west, so when I got to the end of the beach, I thought I'd hop onto the road, and that maybe some of the wind would be blocked by the houses on either side.  Not so.  Spent the last 6 miles running against a stiff headwind.  But hey!  Longest run in quite some time, decent pace, and 45 degrees.  Great start to the new week!

Tuesday, 3-17 - 5 Miles (Beach/Road) - Weekapaug roads and beaches w/Gazelle. - Met Jeff at the breachway, and we combined a beach jaunt with a scoping out of the turns on the Clamdigger course, which still have some icy, snowy corners to negotiate, but those should be gone by race day...right?

Wednesday, 3-18 - 3.5 Miles (Road) - Windblasted Mystic.  Had to swing by Kelley's Pace to grab some supplies, and opted to do a short run in town.  The wind was so strong I actually got out of the truck, got back in the truck, then forced the issue, got out and did the run.  I almost got hurt bad when a real estate sign blew over, then got scooped up by the wind and spun just past my head and lodged in a tree across the street.  Yikes.  Pretty good numbers though!

Thursday, 3-19 - 5.6 Miles (Trail) - Beebe Pond Preserve/Moore Woodlands trails, Noank CT (and Lantern Hill dog jog).  I needed to hit some trails today, just to see how they were looking, and I was rewarded handsomely for my effort:

Tasty!  Found yet another use for a buff, they make a great bandage :)

Postholed on an unmarked stretch of trail, and got chewed up by the crusty ice on top of the snow.  Lots of ice, but there were patchy stretches of ground and I'd say winter is just about done...now about that snow we're supposed to get tomorrow...

Also took Henry for a trail run on the lower Lantern Hill trails, which he enjoyed thoroughly!

Friday, 3-20 - 5 Miles (Beach/Road) - Last (hopefully) snowy run on the beach, Watch Hill.  Got down to WH mid-afternoon, and was rewarded with flying flakes and a deserted beach.  Light winds, and the out-and-back on Napatree was quiet and totally peaceful.  3 miles on the beach was followed by 2 on the roads, and I was passed by exactly one car.  Not bad...

Sat.-Sun. - 0 Miles.  Family time and getting a bunch of things done at the house...but 34 miles for the week?  Not bad!  And I did register for the RI 6hr Ultramarathon in November again, just have to beat my 32 mile mark this time...

Friday, March 13, 2015

Not Brrr-lingame? Week of 3-9 to 3-15

Late start this week...worked dawn to dusk Monday to Thursday, and wasn't game to run in the dark or hit the treadmill by the time I got home.  I figured that it was going to happen at some point, but it's all good!  The Brrr-lingame 10 mile trail race got postponed as of today, so I have no scheduled races...which doesn't mean I might not jump in on the Shamrock Shuffle 5k this Sunday...I ran it last year and had lots of fun at it, and it's a total PR course.  That, or save my $$$ and run long on Sunday...

Monday, 3-9 to Thursday, 3-12 - 0 Miles.  Construction in Waterbury.  We pass so many trails on the way out there it's ridiculous...can't wait to check them out!

Friday, 3-13 - 6 Miles (Road) - Westerly/Pawcatuck run.  I'm pretty much convinced that nobody actually stops and looks both ways at stop signs anymore, as I had to check up several times for drivers who rolled through the stop, only looked one way (when I was approaching from the other direction), or were fidgeting with their phone and simply didn't care.  I felt like Frogger, to use an awesome video game reference from the early 80s...

No school like the Old School...

I really need to get back on some trails before I get run over...

Saturday, 3-14 - Shitty, rainy day, and I just couldn't do it.  After doing a ton of indoor stuff, I thought "F#$@ it.  Today's the day.  I've been wanting to brew my own beer for years, and today's the day!"  So I hopped in the truck, and drove down to Craft Brews Supplies, where my friend Melissa and her husband Chris hooked me up with a new brewing setup, and an Imperial IPA kit.  I went home, read all the directions twice, then spent the next several hours brewing my first batch of beer, which is now fermenting in a cool, dark place.  Lori loves the hoppy aroma, by the way...I'll update the status once I start bottling.  I hope it comes out good, as I had a lot of fun with the whole process and will keep at it!

Big ball o' grains...

Hop addition!

Sunday, 3-15 - Long run, or short race - Or neither.  2.2 Miles (Road) - Dog Jog with Henry.  Family day superceded any thoughts of a run, until I squeezed in a dog jog in the late afternoon.  Let's call this a "rest week"...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

To Ocean's Run, or not to Ocean's Run: Week of 3-2 to 3-8

Well?  What to do, what to do...drums fingers on the table...I've run this the last two years, love the race, and I just haven't been able to commit to it this year for some reason.  Not sure why.  I still have time (like 3 days) to decide, or I could volunteer to flag or something...

Monday, 3-2 - 0 Miles.

Tuesday, 3-3 - 15 Miles - (Road) - 13.2 Mile Mystic Half Marathon jaunt, and 2 Mile dog jog.  I had a physical therapy session this morning, and we worked on stretching/strengthening exercises for my knee.  I dressed for a run in Mystic, and as I set out with no particular mindset, I found myself on a long, deserted road next to a local aquifer.  Didn't see a car for a couple of miles.  I felt pretty good, and knew that I was turning this into a longer run, but kept an easy, steady pace.  Got into Old Mystic and opted to hit the west side of the river, during which I encountered Charlie, one of the local postal dudes, whose mail truck was stuck in a snow bank.  Me and another guy dug some snow out, and rocked the truck back and forth until it was free.  Yes, I paused my Garmin!  Got into Mystic at about 10 miles, still felt good, so I added the extra 5k to make it a Half Marathon, and squeaked it in just under the 2 hour mark.  Good run.  Then got home and ran Henry for 2 miles.  Roads are so dirty now that I have to bathe him after every run!

Cool thing also happened this week:  I got a call from the parent of one of the girls whose soccer team I help coach, asking me if I could be her "running mentor," for the Girls on the Run program, leading up to a 5k race they run at the end of the 10 week training schedule.  Of course!!!  She's already a low 7 pace, so she'll do great at the race!

Wednesday, 3-4 - 3 Miles (Road) - Short Watch Hill run. - After my karate class, I had just enough time to squeeze in a short progression run in Watch Hill before picking up the dog at the groomers.  Overcast, rainy and windy, sloppy streets with lots of melting...and empty, very nice.  Stopped to pick up beer after the run, and chatted with the manager about the quality of the Finch's beers, notably the Fascist Pig Ale and the Hardcore Chimera Imperial IPA.  I was at the register paying when he walked up and handed me a Finch's pint glass...score!

I do love a good pint glass!

I've also decided to not run the Ocean's Half.  I was on the fence as of this morning, and Lori mentioned how nice it was that we didn't have anything planned for this Sunday.  Decision made.  Family day!

Thursday, 3-5 - 0 Miles. - Headed out the door with the dog for a run, and ran into my next door neighbor, who was headed out to walk her dog.  Decided to walk, let the dogs play, and take in the really nice snowy scene.

Friday, 3-6 - 8 Miles (Beach/Road) - Watch Hill Beach run/Dog jog.  Busy day!  Headed to WH at low tide, and did a good beach run, finished up with some slushy roads back to the car.  Went home and took the dog for a run, then quickly showered and headed to my PT appt., then immediately headed to the Mews Tavern for the WTAC Men's Super 5k victory party.  Great time with the small group that was able to make it!

Saturday, 3-7 - 0 Miles.  New computer day.  Should be fun transferring all the accumulated files, pictures and assorted crap off the old 'puter to the shiny new one...process ongoing as I type this.  Yuck.

Sunday, 3-8 - 6-ish Miles (Road) - Dog Jog/Weekapaug Run. - Ran the dog in the afternoon, then headed to Weekapaug for a few road miles in the small oceanside neighborhood.  Slushy, 44 degrees, breezy and quiet.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Closing out February: Week of 2-23 to 3-1

March begins on Sunday, and along with it hopefully we'll see some warmer days.  I don't mind some cold, and some snow, but we're on target to finish February as the coldest month in CT since the started recording weather.  Like, EVER.  Races have even been cancelled because of it, which really sucks for the people who put down good money on hotels, made travel plans, etc...So bring on Spring, dammit!  I'm ready for it.

Monday, 2-23 - 0 Miles.  1 hour karate class, followed by some weights/light stretching.

Tuesday, 2-24 - 0 Miles.

Wednesday, 2-25 - 4 Miles (Treadmill) - Short interval workout. - Daughter got sent home sick, so in between household stuff, I squeezed in a good 4 mile workout on the treadmill, with intervals.  Slow start to the week, and I'm hoping for some bigger and better things for the weekend!

Thursday, 2-26 - 0 Miles.

Friday, 2-27 - 4.6 Miles (Trail/Road) - Lantern Hill run, and afternoon dog jog.  Decided to hit Lantern Hill to see how bad it was.  Quite a bit of snowshoe/xc ski activity on the main trails, so I tried to stay on that for the most part.  Some postholing though, and the last section I ran/walked before I finished up was untouched for at least a month:


But as always, a great time in the woods!

Saturday, 2-28 - 3 Miles (Road) - Downtown Westerly park and roads to close out the month.  Was in town running errands, and squeezed in this run.  All good, until I fully wiped out on an icy patch of sidewalk near the Y, and ultimately cut the run short.  Hit the ground hard, but not enough blood to make a highlight reel...and screw you. February!  You sucked.

Sunday, 3-1 - 7.5 Miles (Beach/Road) - Watch Hill run.  Met up with Jim H., who wanted to run but hadn't since over a month ago.  I suggested Watch Hill, as it was gonna be low-ish tide and we could run the beach.  Great time out to Napatree and back, and we saw another runner approaching on the beach.  Hey, it's WTAC member Ben Moon!  He joined us, and we headed off the beach and down to the lighthouse, then ran Jim back to his car at 4 miles.  Ben and I tacked on an extra 3.5 miles and finished up.  Great way to kick off March!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Piling it on (and more snow!), Week of 2-16 to 2-22

So guess what?  Looks like we're on target here in CT for the coldest February in recorded weather history, at somewhere around a 16 degree average?  What the???  Oh, and then there's the snow.  It just keeps piling up, without any above freezing temps to melt any of it.  Matter of fact, it's snowing as I'm writing this on Tuesday morning.  I'm sure as heck not planning on signing up for any races in the next few weeks!  I've been able to get out for some outdoor runs, and have supplemented them with a couple of treadmill runs, my last resort (although I'm getting less anti-treadmill the last few weeks...).  I also have an appointment Tuesday for my first ever PT session for my left knee, will see how that goes...

Monday, 2-16 - 9 Miles (7 Treadmill/2 Road) - Bone-chilling Presidents' Day, with wind chill factors well below zero.  I opted to get set up in the "sweatbox" exercise room, put on a movie on the iPad, and threw on the wireless headphones.  Easy progression run, and the 7 miles went by faster with the distraction.  As cold as it was outside, the dog thought we were going for a run when I got geared up and looked rather upset.  I changed up (again) after the treadmill run and braved the frigid temps with him, and got 2 snow-covered road miles.  The wind had died down some, so it was still really cold but manageable.

Tuesday, 2-17 - 0 Miles.  Saw a Physical Therapist for the first time - she had me flex my knee this way and that, and gently dug into the tendons to find out where my discomfort was coming from...meniscus it is, with more PT scheduled, along with a prescribed regimen of stretching exercises and foam rolling.  We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, 2-18 - 7 Miles (Beach/Road) - Watch Hill run with Napatree Point beach run.  I really love this place...

Had the entire beach to myself today - no wind, 30 degrees and perfect :)

Thursday, 2-19 - 2.6 Miles (Trail) - Champlin Glacier Park.  2.6 miles of snow-covered trails.  Cold and breezy day, and I was looking to get into the woods for a few miles.  The main trails were packed down a bit by snowshoe tracks, but a couple of the trails weren't, and it was a tough slog punching through the crusty and deep snow.  Why, you ask?  Because it's awesome in the woods.  Tough to run in?  You bet.  But totally worth it!

Friday, 2-20 - 7 Miles (Treadmill/Road) - 5.5 mile treadmill run, 1.5 mile dog jog.  Flippin' cold out!  Couldn't bring myself to run in minus whatever wind chills today, so I grabbed the iPad, wireless headphones, picked out a movie to zone out on (Frankenstein!) and hit the treadmill.  Steady pace, and ran 400's at race pace (6:30 avg.) for the last two miles, alternating with a 400m jog between each.  Later, the wind had died down some so I took Henry for a run.  Good time but still cold and breezy, but glad we got out!  

Saturday, 2-21 - 2.5 Miles - (Road) - Late afternoon dog jog with Henry.

Sunday, 2-22 - 9+ Miles (Road/Beach) - Watch Hill beaches and roads w/Gazelle, and slushy dog jog w/Henry.  Met up with Jeff in Watch Hill for a beach run.  Sunny skies and 35 degrees was awesome!  This was the day that finally felt like Spring was on its way.  Lots of people getting outside too, another good sign.  Did the out and back Napatree Point run, then took the trail next to Taylor's place down to the oceanside beach and ran that for a bit, before finishing up on uncrowded side streets.  Great run!
Watch Hill harbor

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Another Monday, another storm! Week of 2-9 to 2-15

This is the third consecutive Monday that school's been cancelled due to a snowstorm, and although we're set to receive the lower end of the snowfall estimates, we get the added bonus of freezing rain!  Awesome!  Nothing like turning everything into a skating rink, right?  The rest of the week sees temperatures plummet, and the potential for two more snow events toward the end of the week???

I also don't have a race scheduled for at least a month!  There are options, I just don't have anything pencilled in on the calendar...

Monday, 2-9 - 0

Tuesday, 2-10 - 0

Wednesday, 2-11 - 0

Thursday, 2-12 - 8+ Total - 6.2 Miles (Road) - Snowy streets of Misquamicut and Avondale w/Gazelle.  Perfect conditions for a run, 32 degrees, very little wind, and big fat snowflakes falling.  A truly enjoyable run today, on what's set to be the warmest day for at least the next week.  Met up with Jeff, and we cruised around Avondale, and ended up at Misquamicut for a quick beach check.  Tide was high!

                             2 Miles (Road) - Dog jog.  Henry and I were able to maintain a faster pace!  Light snow falling, great run with the boy!

Friday, 2-13 - 4 Miles (TM) - Happy Friday the 13th!  It's friggin' freezing out, so I opted to play around on the treadmill...4 progression miles (with 4x1 minute 6:00 pace runs at the end, with easy recovery), and sweaty as Hell since I was in my house!  My humps!!!

What I think I look like on the treadmill...

Saturday, 2-14 - 2 Miles (Road) - Dog jog with Henry.  I also mailed in (mailed?  people still do that?) my race application for the all-new Chikumbuso 10k race, to be held on 4/25 right up the road from me at the Jonathan Edwards Winery.  This should be a lot of fun, and I plan on running the two miles to the race as a warmup, running the race, and then running back to the house afterward.  The winery is at the top of one of the hills in town, so whichever way the race starts is downhill, with a pretty solid uphill finish...

Sunday, 2-15 - Blizzard!  Once I dig us out (again), I might venture out for something...looks brutal though!!!