Sunday, December 23, 2012
Press the Thing
On Monday, with heavy legs, I set out for what I hoped would be an "easy double". In the morning I shuffled 4 with Catherine. That evening I met Sam at Old Angler's Inn and ran an out-and-back 9 on the pitch black towpath. My headlamp lit the way. "All the animals come out at night", Travis Bickle once said, and my god they were out that night. Deer casually meandered across the trail in front of us, ducks quacked menacingly in the canal and fox eyes stared at us from the edge of the darkness...all wanted a piece of us. 13 for the day.
On Tuesday I ran 14 in the trails at Difficult Run. Alex Booth, who was hanging out in the parking lot when I arrived, joined me for 5 miles, then I explored some of the trails up that way that I don't frequent enough. I need to get out here more often. There are some great surfaces and fine loops to be run. I dipped down to 5:20 pace at one point, but then slowed up and crawled back to the car. It was a hard run.
On Wednesday Sam and I ran what's becoming a staple; the Walter Reid Annex loop. I was super tired and Sam, who had run 3 x 2 mile the night before, was certainly no fresher. We lumbered along. By mile 7 we contemplated quitting for the day. By mile 10 we contemplated quitting the sport outright. It was a grind all the way home - 11 miles.
On Thursday I flew back to Massachusetts for Christmas. That afternoon I ran the "Trail of Tears" in West Barnstable. The people who maintain these trails have done a wonderful job with the upkeep. There must be close to 40 miles of trails in this network including fire roads, single track mountain bike trails, stretches of power lines and ATV paths. It's easy to get lost out here (and I have), but despite the vast labyrinth, an asphalt road is never very far as the crow flies. I got in 12.
On Friday I got in 10 miles with Pat Dennen and Joe Navas behind the Yarmouth Port Post Office. A cold rain was coming down in sheets so we were stuck mostly to some dirt roads I know of tuck away and hidden in the woods. It was good to catch up. That night, when the storm died down, I snuck out for another 4 in/around my neighborhood.
On Saturday I ran 10, the first 5 or so with my sister. I'm really digging the Cape Cod Pathways trails I've rediscovered. Some sections have miles of dirt roads covered with pine needles...seriously, can you beat that? Good run.
On Sunday I met up with Joe and Pat again, this time at Nickerson State Park. We ran the out-and-back 8 out to the end of the campgrounds, before returning to finish up on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. Together we ran another 3 out and back for 14, then I took off solo in the other direction and tried to hammer the pace a little. Joe and I had run miles 13 and 14 in around 5:55 so I was already well on my way. I hit the next 4 (2 out and back) in 5:43, 5:54, 5:44 and 5:35...about 34:45 or so for the last 6, if my math is correct.
I got in 93 for the week. It was a tad less than what I was aiming for, but I don't want to get too caught up in the numbers. I am in good shape and that's what counts. I just got to stay healthy. My hip/thigh has been giving me a little trouble this week so I am monitoring that accordingly. My plantar pain, although nasty some of these cold mornings, has been kept mostly in check.