Sunday, November 30, 2014
My legs were pretty trashed after the weekend, so I only ran an easy 5 miles on Monday morning. I purposely never dipped below 7:00 pace...and boy did I need it. I was pretty drained.
On Tuesday, I ran one of my many variations of the Rock Creek Trail loop, which typically is between 8 and 9 miles. 8.5 for the day.
On Wednesday, I woke up at 3:30 and drove to BWI. I arrived on Cape Cod around 10am, but the weather was downright awful - high 30s/low 40s with rain and wind. I opted to take a nap instead of run. Later, when the sun went down, I sipped a Manhattan, smiling like a Cheshire cat that I had taken the day off.
On Thursday, my mom and I drove down to the local Turkey Trot in Sandwich. The "We Gather Together 5k" draws nearly 2,000 runners every year and the entry fee is bag of canned goods and a nominal race fee, which goes towards canned goods. Good stuff. I haven't raced since May, so I knew I'd be rusty. Luckily, I had gotten a couple of cross country workouts in, but I knew it would be enough to get under 16:00. It was snowing when I arrived so I layered up and, per usual, I ran the entire course as a warm-up, changed quickly and headed over to the starting line. I went out slow (5:30 pace at half mile), but gradually picked it up. Some kid from Ithaca (at least he had an Ithaca shirt on), was right on my hip and stayed with me until the mile (5:21 -- yikes). The last thing I wanted to do was actually race someone and I knew that anyone 10 years my junior would surely dust me if it came down to a kick later on. Just after the mile, there is a short, but very steep hill, which I attacked with gusto and immediately dropped my opponent. I surged down the long downhill and felt, surprisingly, incredibly strong. It was just me, the cop car and the occasional villager who watched the race with hot coffee in hand. My naked legs were chilled to the bone as a result of the falling snow and as a result of splashing through puddles. My naked arms were also cold, so I pumped them vigorously and had a nice stride going. It felt great. Unfortunately, I wasn’t running very fast. My second mile was 5:26, but at this point I was all alone. I had more in me, but I had a hard time “digging down” and finding that extra gear, though I felt as if I could possibly hold the pace for 8k. My last mile was actually my fastest (5:18), likely because I took a glimpse over my shoulder and got a bit nervous my opponent might catch me. I held on for the win (for the 4th race in a row) with a time of 16:20 or so – easily my slowest time ever on this course (I ran 15:26 just two years ago). I suppose I have to start somewhere…and 16:20 is apparently “there”. I ran another 3 mile in the snow and then I disappeared.
On Friday, my mother dropped me off at the Yarmouth Post Office trails near my house. There I met my old pal Pat. Again, it was cold, windy, raw and wet, but we stuck to the trails and stayed out of the wind. The twists and turns of the trails also got the heart rate going. I got in 10 with Pat and then ran the 3 miles back home along the wicked Atlantic, which blew like a tempest. I was pretty spent and my hot shower was certainly a welcomed relief.
On Saturday, I ran a moderately hard 10 miles from my folks’ house in Cummaquid hitting up some of the Cape Cod Pathway Trails. Great stuff. I saw a coyote and ran the last mile in 5:30…just for shits and giggles.
On Sunday, I was up once again before 4:00am to catch a plane out of Boston. By 8:30, I was running with 2 former college teammates in Patapsco Valley State Park just south of Baltimore. The pace felt fast throughout and there were plenty of hills. A grind, but this is what I need right now. In fact, although it was a low mileage week, I got a lot of quality in -- 55 miles for the week.