Wednesday, January 27, 2016

S'winter? Week of 1-25 to 1-31

Post-snowstorm warmup ahead!  Yes, snow on the ground, and warming up quickly to shorts weather!  Awesome!!!

Monday - 0

Tuesday - 4 Miles - Short progression run from home.

Wednesday - 1.5 Miles - Sheep Farm trails, Groton.  On my way to pick up the dawg, stopped in fading light to check out this small preserve up the street.  Great trails, but I ran all of them and was at 1.5 miles when I had to leave.  No sheep, lots of turkeys though, and a pretty cool little waterfall near the site of an old grist mill.  Nice short run on trails new to me!

Thursday - 3 Miles - Lower Lantern Hill repeats.  Had a small window after work and before my daughter's basketball game, so I hit Lantern Hill and did 5 repeats on the lower hill, and snagged another 500' of vert. in this short run.  Shorts again!

Friday - 0.

Saturday - 2+ Miles - Trail/Road mix with my dog.  Spent the bulk of the afternoon framing out the basement to split it into two rooms, with the intention of waterproofing the floor and finishing one half for a workshop/better workout space.  My new miter saw kicks ass...

Sunday - Planned long run.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Winter blast! Week of 1-18 to 1-24

Holy Hell it got cold...and there's a potential blizzard for the coming weekend???  We'll see how this week plays out, with high wind warnings, cold temps, and the threat of a big snow event on the horizon...

Monday - 0 - Cold work day.  Still can't do the 'mill.

Tuesday - 0. - Cold work day #2.

Wednesday - 4-ish Miles.  Cockaponsett Commuter Run, Haddam.  I ran this a couple of years ago with fellow WTAC'ers Eric and Yvonne, but never realized how close the trailhead is to the commuter lot, right off route 9!  I scoped it out, and after work, got off the exit and was on the trail within a couple minutes!  A good hilly and twisty run on very old singletrack.  The majority of these trails were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1934 as part of FDR's "New Deal" and are superbly built.  Can't say enough good things about them.  I knew where I was initially going, but underestimated the time it took to get to the Wildwood crossover trail.  Good run, I'm looking forward to more exploring there!

Thursday - 0.

Friday - 2 Miles.  Dog Jog.  Got home from work and changed up for a run with Henry, who hadn't gone to day care and hadn't done much of anything.  Needless to say, he took the lead and increased the pace throughout the run, and had one of his fastest miles ever!  Good dog.

Saturday - 8.75 Miles, Treadmill.  So the Chili 5k was cancelled, and by the time I got my shit together at the house, the snow was coming down pretty heavy, sooo...time to dust off the treadmill and get some miles.  8.75, to be exact.  The Garmin was shorting me, so I kept going until it hit 8.  Still not a fan of the damn thing, but it may be a necessary component of training, so I threw on the headphones, blasted Bullet For My Valentine, and got 'er done.

Sunday - ???

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Because you can't, you won't, and you don't stop! Week of 1-11 to 1-17


Monday - 0. - Worky work work.

Tuesday - 2 Miles - Hewitt Farm.  Got back from work with twenty minutes to spare before picking up the child, and squeezed in a quickie at Hewitt.  Great trails!

Wednesday - 0.  Effin' cold!  Spent time when I got home making reservations for Breakneck, 7 Sisters, and Cayuga, and settling on an appropriate training schedule for the 50 miler.  Yes, I have a treadmill.  No, I don't want to use it.  However, it may become necessary given the unpredictable New England winters.  I don't wanna, but might hafta...

Thursday - 6 Miles - Chilly, hilly run to Jonathan Edwards Winery and back.  Turns out, it's exactly 3 miles to the parking lot of the winery from my house.  Good to know!  Feckin' cold at the top of the hill, too.  And I wasn't exactly trying for it, but I missed my best time on two segments by 1 and 2 seconds, respectively...whoops.  Good progression run, with progressively faster splits on the uphill as well as the downhill return.  Felt good!

Friday - 1.8 Miles - Short Fowler trail run w/Henry.

Saturday - 9 Miles - 6+ Mile beach run w/Jim to T. Swift's place and back, and 2.5+ run at Lantern Hill.  Both great runs!  Was cruising through Westerly to drop off the dog at the groomers, when Jim texted me about running on the beach.  In the rain, wind, at high tide?  Why not!  I'd wanted to close out the climbing challenge, but this was too good to pass up.  In the afternoon, I made a trip to the transfer station, and as the weather had calmed down, went after that Strava elevation badge.  Got it!

Sunday - 8 Miles - 6.5 Bluff/Haley trails, 1.5 trails at home with Henry.  So I've been scoping out the Groton X-Town trail, done most of it piecemeal, and wanted to do an out/back on it.  I'm generally not too jazzed about running at Bluff Point, as the main track is pretty mundane.  No, I'm not hating on Bluff!  I just haven't been wowed by the trails there (wait for it...).  I set out toward Haley Farm, hoping to make the connector through Mortimer Preserve to the other sections I already knew.  Sadly, none of the trails there are marked, I second guessed myself enough to get lost-ish.  When I ended up back at the main Haley lot, I threw in the towel and headed back toward Bluff...and this was when I turned onto the red dot trail.  Awesome!!!  Great singletrack trails all over the interior hills of Bluff Point, and I had a blast scampering around them.  Fun climbs, mildly technical, and so much fun.  I'll be back for more there :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Happy New Year, and back to weekly updates! Week of 1-4 to 1-10 (Plus the first three days of January)

I closed out my December entry, and wanted to tack on the first few days of January here and eliminate the need for a separate post.  Those first three days, though, were chock full of fun!  It's been nice having this downtime, although I'm pretty sure work will kick back in with a vengeance here shortly...

Friday, 1-1 - Buttonwoods 5k - 21:41 - #23 of 97.  Happy New Year!  Bob Jackman had set up a new race in the Warwick City Park (where the 6hr Ultra is held) called the Buttonwoods 5k, and of course I signed up immediately.  Perfect weather for it, and I gave it a good effort, almost catching TNT runner Dave S. in the process...tons of friends at this race!  I may have known 1/3 of the participants...great race shirt, and a fun event to put on the calendar next year to start things off right!

Saturday, 1-2 - 4.5 Miles - 3+ Mile Perry Wood Preserve run with Jim, 1.3 Mile dog jog.  Took Jim to the nearby Perry Preserve, and we ran the marked/unmarked trails there, which border the old Randall's Ordinary property which is currently being renovated.  Took the dog for a run later that afternoon!

Sunday, 1-3 - 4 Miles - Warmup, and Resolution 5k (or as I referred to it, the "Sandblaster 5k").  24:15 - #56 of 170.  I try not to schedule 2 races on a weekend.  Normally.  But race 1 was Bob's new race, and race 2 is part of the 4th Season Trail Race series, which I haven't missed for three years now.  Windy?  Yup, just a little bit.  I picked up Colburn and we drove to 'Gansett, noting the swaying trees along Route 1.  After we arrived and got checked in, Colburn started his race early as he always does, and after I got changed up, I ran a short warmup into the wind and blowing sand at the beginning of the course.  Eureka!  I had a pair of Milwaukee safety glasses in the truck, and decided to wear them during the race.  Great call!

The race starts and I was sort of cruising, not really racing, but gradually increased my pace and passed several runners.  I felt pretty good, and in spite of the soul-sucking wind, I finished well (and beat Paul Gray.  Isn't that all that matters?).  Skipped the cooldown run, as I was already chilled to the bone, and changed into warm clothes.  Great day and fun second race in the series, and huge turnout by the club!  We must have had 25 people there.

Monday, 1-4 - 3+ Miles - Lord's Point, Stonington.  Stopped in Mystic to run part of the Knox Family parcel.  The trails there have an easement through a farm, and I was turned back by several unhappy horses, whose lunch I interrupted.  I decided to run through Lord's Point after that, and although it was cold, it wasn't brutal.

Tuesday, 1-5 - 4 Miles - Knox Preserve, and Merritt Family Forest.  Wanted to check out the Knox Preserve, as it was one of the only Avalonia parcels I hadn't run, and was right on the water.  Because that's what we do in single-digit wind chills around here, find a breezy spot along the water to run!  It's really small (16 acres), but the trails are nice and I looped it several times.  After that, I wanted to check out a piece of the Groton X-Town trail system, the Merritt Family Forest, which is the only trail in that system I haven't run.  Great trails, clearly marked, and I'm gonna put together a run of the entire X-Town trail soon.  Beebe/Moore/Merritt/Mortimer/Haley/Bluff Point.  Should be an adventure!

Wednesday, 1-6 - 0.

Thursday, 1-7 - 3.3 Miles - Mt. Higby, Meriden.  Our new jobsite is right up the street from a commuter lot which just happens to have a trail connector that joins the Mattabesett Trail, a blue blazed trail and part of the New England Trail.  A short, very steep ascent leads to fantastic view of the valley, and while I didn't have time to do both the "camel's humps" of this part of the trail, I did manage to get a few very technical miles and 600'+ of vertical.  Good spot!

Friday, 1-8 - 0.

Saturday, 1-9 - 4 Miles local.  1.5 trail with Henry, 2.5 road from the house with some half-assed speedwork thrown in.  Lazy morning with the girls, trip to the farmer's market and Beer'd (Dogs and Boats, and Hobbit Juice!), and I was left with the option of running the dog and then running until dark on roads to get miles in, or cutting a longish run short in favor of something long tomorrow.  Plan B it is!

Sunday - 3+ Miles - Champlin Soaker, Westerly.  Weather being what it is, I managed to settle on Champlin trails for a run.  Warm out, almost 60 degrees and light rain, with a breeze a blowin' from the southeast.  I was really enjoying this run, in spite of some recent clearcutting in the preserve, and I was damp, muddy, and about a mile from my truck when it started to pour.  Like really pour.  I'm cool with that too!  But when the thunder and lightning kicked in, I double-timed it back to the truck.  At least three of the lightning strikes were close enough to make me duck for cover.  Yikes!

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 Recap and a look toward 2016!

2015 is in the books, and I'll admit it wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for, mileage-wise.  My work schedule got very busy, and with the travel to/from the job sites, it became very difficult to run during the week.  I think I've got it straightened out now, though.

On the other hand, I performed well at most of the races I entered and got to go to some pretty cool places!  Some stats and highlights:

Miles:  1022, way below what I expected

Elevation gain:  68,402 feet (Not bad!)

Distances run:  Everything up to 32 miles

Races:  25 (12 Trail, 13 Road)

Best Races:  Chikumbuso 10k.  7th overall, 1st AG, and a 46:55 on a very hilly course.

                     Foot Pursuit 5k.  44th of 725 runners in 21:08, a PR a day after the Chikumbuso race.

                     7 Sisters 12 Mile Trail Race.  Brutal!  Done in 3:10 on a technically demanding course, and I felt great at that race.

Worst races:  Beast of the East 1/2 Marathon.  Another beautiful but tough course.  Felt like shit (found out the next day I was positive for Lyme disease), and stopped racing at mile 9 to help an injured runner off the course.  I'll be back to take it on in 2016 (It's already on my schedule)...

                      Cat's Tail Marathon.  Not my day.  Cold, windy and rainy, I DNF'd at the 9 mile aid station.  A tough course made tougher by the conditions.  Again, I'll be back for another shot at this one in 2016...

Best runs?  So many to choose from...but the running is always more enjoyable with friends!  The 18-miler with Nicole, Beth and Patti was definitely a highlight.  The group runs are always a highlight, matter of fact.  The Taylor Swift beach runs, of course.  The runs I did at my family reunion, though, were incredible, especially the Smith Rock run and Mt. Bachelor ascent/descent with my cousin Nick.  Mt. Bachelor takes the win for sheer awesomeness...really, insanely cool...

Looking forward, I'd like to say that I'd like to just run happy, and let things play out as they would, but I'm feeling like I need to set some new PRs, while I get prepped to run my first 50-miler in June.  I'd like some significant progress in 2016, so here goes!!!

1m - sub-6...

5k - sub-20...

5m - sub-35...

1/2 Marathon - road, sub-1:40, trail, course-specific.

Sub-3:00 at 7 Sisters (Yup!)

Complete the 50-Miler in Ithaca.  Period.

1500 Miles in 2016...

Reasonable, attainable goals, and I intend to give them a go!  And as always, have fun running with friends and frenemies alike.  We have such a cool local running scene here, with a full range of runners.  From the new runner to the marathon winner, our little microcosm within the running world has a lot of history to look to, as well as up-and-coming talent ready to write the next chapters in the New England scene.  I'm just happy to be a part of it...

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Long December: Running toward Winter and the New Year

Here comes Winter!  For most, this means it's time to break out the treadmill, but for many of my more hardy friends (and myself), this means another awesome New England season of running, and the start of the 4th Season Trail Race series, hosted by Mike Galoob and his team at Off Rhode Racing.  This also means another opportunity to crush some Turtle dreams, heh heh heh...

I've already begun mapping out my race schedule for 2016, and it will of course be heavy on trail races, and only include a select number of road races that I plan to do every year until I croak.  The plan for the next six months?  Build a base of miles/elevation/technical runs that will culminate in my first 50-miler.  I have some really interesting races already set/scheduled, as a precursor to this, and I'll be as ready as I can be!

Or, it'll all fall to shit, and I'll just wing it (as I usually do)...

12/6 - 36th Pearl Harbor Masters 5-Mile Race, Waterford.  I knew a few friends were running this race, and I woke up with intentions of a long trail run, but when my wife mentioned she had plans, I threw my shit together and headed down to the race.  It's a race in its 36th edition, my first attempt, and is restricted to us "old farts," (thanks, Beth!) 40 years old and above.  Still some fast seasoned runners there, though...

I checked in, chatted with a whole bunch of friends who were there, and ran a short warmup on the back end of the course to assess the "hill" at the start/finish.  Great going out...not so much at the finish!

Chatted before the race with the older dude wearing nothing but angel wings, tutu and running shoes.  Interesting...

So the race starts and I'm thinking "I know about 30 people here, and I haven't run in a week, I hope I don't bomb out today," but that went away after the downhill.  I settled into about 10th place, felt good, and decided that if I could maintain that spot, I'd be happy.  Great course, too, especially once we turned off the main road into the residential area along the coves.  Gorgeous scenery, rolling roads on the water with little traffic, and the occasional hoots of encouragement from residents!

I'd run a consistent race, and finally reeled in one more runner on the last hill (Sorry, Steve!) to finish in 9th place, which also scored me 2nd in my age group and a sweet trophy!

The afterparty, in true Elks Lodge fashion, included beer on tap and venison stew, which was delicious.  Great conversations with friends, and I had one of the best race days I've ever had.  Just a great time...

And the WTAC cleaned up!  Josh came in 3rd, and the AG awards were up, the Christmas 10k in Newport, beware Turtles!!!

12/9 - 6 Mile Beach and Trail run, Hammonassett State Park, Madison CT.  What a glorious stretch of weather, that I was able to run on the beach, in shorts and t-shirt, on December 9th, and felt oddly overdressed!  Great run on the beach to kick things off, then I ventured onto their nature trails, until finally running out of time and hoofing it back to the truck.  Great run!

12/12  - 2 Mile Shakeout run, Canonchet Preserve, Hopkinton RI.  I was able to squeeze in a short trail run this afternoon, which started with another "Aggressive coyotes have been reported in this area" sign at the trailhead, and a giant "Hunting Season!  Wear all the orange you own" sign where the preserve becomes state land.  I saw neither beast (hunters or coyotes), and had a thoroughly enjoyable run here.  Great trails!

12/13 - 10-ish Miles, w/u, c/d, and the 32nd Newport Christmas 10k.  I'd never run this race before, but I like the idea of a scenic road race, and headed down to Newport with friend and fellow WTAC'er Joe S.  My mileage has been low because of work, and I had no expectations other than to have fun.  Ran a good warmup with my fellow WTAC members, and then extended my warmup when I noticed a trail across from the race HQ.  Of course!  Turns out, there's an awesome singletrack trail that loops around an old quarry, with dramatic cliffside views.  I looped the whole thing, short and sweet, and ran back to the car to change shirts.

Funny thing, it being warm enough to run along the ocean in December here in shorts and a singlet!  I was determined to enjoy the view, the run, and let things run their course.  I lined up way back, and wove my way through runners after the start.  I felt pretty good, and picked up speed slowly but steadily.  What a great day!  Light winds, warm temps, and possibly the scenic damn course anywhere.

The race played out better than I expected!  I negative split the course, felt great, and finished 94th out of 385 runners at a 47:04.  Awesome!

Afterwards, we went on a group cooldown which involved tracking Beth down on the course (she LOVES this), and running her in.  After a group photo op, I led a short trail run to see the quarry, which really is a hidden gem in Newport - it's dramatic, scenic, cool, and a fun respite from the roads.  Lunch with the crew and great conversation, and a total win for the day!

12/19 - 6+ Miles - Old Mountain Field 5k, Wakefield RI.  Muddy splatterfest, report to follow...and yes, a 5k trail race will get its own report, it was that much fun :)

12/23 - 5+ Miles - Wadsworth Falls State Park, Middletown CT.  Got done at our current jobsite early, and as I was headed through Middletown, I decided to give this park a shot.  What a great spot!  Waterfalls, fun climbs, a mansion, and lots of marked and unmarked trails to explore:

Easy main paths

"Big Falls"

"Little Falls"

Nice trails along either side of the stream

Wadsworth Mansion

12/24 - 3.5 Miles - Dog Jog, and a solo out and back from the house.  Pre-gluttony workout.  Got some time in with the dog, then dropped him off and did a more peppy couple of miles before it got dark...

12/25 - 4.8 Miles - Christmas run, and dog jog from the house.  Pre-gluttony workout part 2.  Ran the dog for a bit, then banged out a few more miles solo.  Gorgeous day.  I like running in the snow, but this weather has been a treat, I'm not gonna lie.  I'll embrace the cold when it gets here, but for now?  I'm good!

12/26 - 3.5 Miles - Dog jog and Dump Run, North Stonington.  Ran the dog for a bit, then went to the town dump, which happens to border Lantern Hill, my favorite place.  A peppy ascent, and even more peppy descent (4:18).  Great time there!

12/27 - 9.6 Miles - 8.5 Mile Green Falls run w/Jeff V., and short dog jog.  Wet, muddy, and misty Green Falls was a great call today!  Jeff met me at my place, and we made the 5 minute trip to the trailhead.  Great time!  We had to bushwhack up the gorge, as the river was too high to cross, but running unmarked ridgelines on the cliff was pretty sweet!  Lots of water running everywhere from all the rain, and there were streams where I've never seen them, and waterfalls at lots of the crossings.  Plenty of mud, too!  I crafted an 8.5 miler with no double-ups, and we had a great time in 55-degree, late December weather.

12/28 - 4 Miles - 3 Mile Canonchet Trail run w/Jim, and short dog jog. - Got a run in with Jim, in good weather on easy trails.  Great time, albeit a short one!

12/30 - 1.6 Mile dog jog.  Henry decided on a more peppy pace, and I was happy to oblige!

12/31 - 7 Miles - 6 Mile Lantern Hill run, short dog jog.  Jeff texted me about leading a group run at Lantern Hill, and I put together a good route, 1000' of elevation, and very little repeating trails.  The six of us spent a little over an hour cruising around the hill, slipping and sliding, climbing and descending the short, sharp changes on the rocky terrain.  I'm pretty sure they all enjoyed it!

So that closes out December!  It started poorly, with very few runs, but I did very well in the races I entered and had a much more consistent finish to the month, due to some much-needed down time from work.  So overall I'm happy that it turned out the way it did, although I wish my mileage were higher.  No worries!  Goin back to a weekly recap starting tomorrow, and I'm determined to keep my mileage higher and more consistent.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground - November 2015

Title attributed to the White Stripes song of the same name, and entirely appropriate for this time of year :)

Started off November with a dog jog.  Nothing spectacular, but got the ball rolling.  Now we're into the heart of Fall, and the heart of Fall racing in New England.  First up for me?  The RI 6hr Ultramarathon and Relay on 11/8, hosted by friend and race director Bob Jackman, and his team at A Better Pace racing.  Super fun atmosphere at this race, especially with all the relay teams hanging out at the start/finish!  Like a street festival every time you roll through...

11/1 - 1.4 Miles - Dog Jog.  It's a start...

11/3 - 2 Miles - Short Stressbuster before my commute home, East Granby.  Next door to the job site is the "Rails to Trails" path.  Got a peppy run in before navigating to shitty drive through Hartford.  It helped!

11/6 - 4 Miles - Easy cruise around the lower Lantern Hill trails.  Post-dump run, pre-darkness, and a good run to clear some cobwebs.  I also posted some "At your own risk" signs at either end of the Wintechog Hill section of the Narragansett Trail, as there is extensive timber harvesting going on and the trail is wiped out in a couple places...

11/8 - 32 Miles - RI 6hr Ultramarathon and Relay, Warwick.  41st of 77-ish runners in the solo, 5:36 for 29+ miles.  My third year running this race.  I had low expectations going into this, as my miles have been low, and training virtually nonexistent.  But I needed some redemption after my last couple of long distance races, and I really like this race.  The format, the social aspect, the swag, it's just fun for me.  I paired up with TNT friend and runner John P., and we got off to a rather ambitious start.  Perhaps too ambitious, as we went out faster than my goal pace and I paid for it later.

Last year's record-setter Pat Moulton was back, and threatening to break his own record (he did!), along with some local fast men and women.  WTAC cohort Seth was there, looking ready to rock but not feeling ready?  I was sure he'd do fine (which he did!  4th OA at 40 miles, and 3rd place male).  I just wanted another pint glass, I'm really a sucker for a good pint glass.  And Monica was there volunteering, as well as TNT runner Mark and a few other people!  So I had some support through a bunch of laps at the start/finish.  Fun scene.

So I ran with John and this dude named Brian, who we jokingly blamed for our going out too fast.  It's Brian's fault!  At the end of the fourth loop, I lingered at the aid station to let them get ahead of me, as I wanted to run my own race and pace, and I felt like I was trying to keep up.  The positive side to this was that I got to run with a bunch of other people during the race, and some really cool people at that!  And did I mention the weather was perfect?  It was.  50-55, partly cloudy and just enough breeze.  Great views as well.

Fast forward to lap 11.  I'd been slowing more on each lap, and getting to the start/finish, I realized I was at 5:36, with 23+ minute window to make it around again.  I said to myself "screw it, I'm going for it, I want to hit the 50k mark anyway," threw my water bottle down and took off.  I kept a steady pace and it turned out to be my fastest lap of the day, however it was not going to count.  As I approached the finish line, the buzzer went off.  I ended up completing the 12th lap for a total of 32+ miles, getting credit in the stats for 11 at 29+ miles.  All good, though!  It was a totally fun day, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Totally worth jumping in on if you're local.  Bob puts on a great race, with low cost and pretty high reward.  Great day!

11/13 - 2.3 Miles at Hewitt Farm, 2-ish mile dog jog.  I stopped at Hewitt for a short run in between errands, and found out they're making new trails along the Shunock River.  A bit rough now, but scenic and fun rollers.

Got home and took the dog for a run.  Garmin did something totally weird today.  I hit 1 mile and it buzzed, and I went 3/10 mile further and it buzzed again, showed the Garmin logo, and then started me back at my last pause point, which was .87 mile.  Never seen it do that before...anyone else???

11/14 - 6 Miles - Li'l Rhody Runaround course marking with WTAC crew.  Chilly and gusty winds, but when we got into the woods it was perfect weather for a hike/jog.  One group marked the first half, the rest of us (Paul, Roy, Phil, Tony and me) hit the second part of the 8 mile course.  We flagged it really well.  The last stretch is on a road and doesn't need marking, so when we reached that point, I turned and ran back to my truck at a more peppy pace.  Course is in great shape for tomorrow!

11/15 - 8 Miles - Li'l Rhody Runaround trail race.  I had a great time helping set up, assist with pre-registration, and running the race.  I started in the back of the pack and gradually picked up the pace, eventually getting into a good rhythm and banging out a respectable time of 1:08.  Not a PR, but fun and I felt good throughout the race.

11/16 - 4.5 Miles - Mystic Mixer Progression run.  Pequot Woods N to S, then roads back to the truck.  Got confronted by a very large, aggressive German Shepherd in the residential neighborhood, probably why I prefer trails...

11/20 - 6 Miles (2.1/1.5/2.6) - Tunxis Trail, Bristol - Roads, Bristol - Narragansett Trail, NoSto. - I scoped out a section of the Tunxis Trail in Bristol, which was leafy, slippery, poorly marked and blocked off at 1 mile in.  Got to the jobsite, and ran until my boss arrived, then went to check on the Wintechog Hill section of the Narragansett Trial, which has been further obliterated, and is now completely impassable.  Fuckers.  I get that it's private land, but the trail has been there for 80+ years, and was literally feet from the edge of their property.

11/21 - 6 Miles - Barn Island group run.  Met up with the WTAC crew for a "welcome back" run with Mike B., who took some time off, and needed a good group run.  Great time, but early!!!

11/22 - 5 Miles - Warmup, and Mews Tavern 6.9k Road Race - Wakefield, RI. - I really like this race, as Wakefield is scenic, the course is pretty much a rolling loop, it's for a great cause (Easter Seals RI), and there's beer!  It's a bit pricey for a short distance local race, and there has been some grumbling lately about the $$$, but I say that it's worth the extra 10 bucks if it's for a good cause.

I did a short warmup with friend and former Sony cohort Kenny B., then lined up too far back again (behind Way), and trudged to the start line.  My splits were solidly negative, and I felt frickin' great as the race progressed.  Again, "He has potential, but lacks discipline!"

11/25 - 6 Miles - Castle Craig, Meriden. - I got done with work early and made a beeline for this place.  It's been on my hitlist for a while now, as it's the most dramatic skyline feature in the area.  I parked at Hubbard Park, below I-691, and cruised up the paved footpath along the reservoir, the castle looming above.  After I crossed the dam, I picked up the Metacomet Trail and followed a very technical, and downright sketchy trail along the cliffside, to the top of the hill and the castle (more like a tower), before returning along the footpath back to the truck.  Great spot, lots of people, and a great view from the top!

11/26 - 4 Miles - Turkey Day run w/Jim, Long/Ell Pond trail, Hopkinton.  Jim wanted technical!  Sorry Jim!!!  We got started early-ish, and ignoring the "aggressive coyote" warnings posted at the trailhead, scrambled out to Ashville Pond and back.  I know we got screwed on elevation gain, and I'm hoping that my new space watch will more accurately reflect the ups and downs of this stretch of the Narragansett Trail.  Took the GoPro out for some footage, but it was too choppy to share (trust me).  Great day!

11/27 - 4 Miles - Lantern Hill birthday run. - Great day to test out the Garmin Fenix 3, my 45th birthday present from the girls.  Awesome watch!  Along with a real time altimeter, barometer, compass, and the ability to retrace my route if I ever got lost, it even gives me my text messages and other notifications???  For my run, I decided to go back to the place where I first fell in love with trail running, Lantern Hill.  Lots of people out for #optoutside, and I got to chat with several of them.  Still my favorite trails, too!

So there it is, in a nutshell.  One Ultra distance race, one trail race, and one road race, and some trail runs mixed in.  Not quite the numbers I was hoping for, but I'll take it.  Time to map out a training plan for a planned distance race, and figure out a way to make it happen...