Well, I've been slacking on posting again but, really, not a hell of a lot has happened. I run, I go to work, I come home, I sleep. Repeat. With no real goal races on the horizon, there's not much for me to obssess about. In any case, running has been going fairly well as I've posted 70 mile weeks for the last couple. I had intended on hitting 74 this week, which would break my personal weekly high by 2 miles, but other endeavors are going to get in the way.
You see, I like to hunt. Don't ask me why, because the whole thing seems kind of ridiculous when you really think about it, but then again, so does running. I guess I have a natural affinity for ridiculous pasttimes. I like to fish too, which would also fit into that category. Back to my point though, I like to hunt and this year I scored a highly coveted Any Deer tag for the Slim Buttes area of northwestern South Dakota. This is a hard tag to get (South Dakota awards tags on a lottery system and a lot of hunters throw their name in the hat for this one) so I don't want to waste the tag, or the $45 I spent for it.
Here's where my ridiculous pasttimes start to butt heads. The Slim Buttes are 80 miles from my house, so with driving time and time spent wandering around trying simultaneously to find a deer to shoot and not get shot by another idiot trying to find a deer to shoot, it's a time-consuming affair. I skipped out on 6 miler this past Sunday to drive up there and hunt, with nothing to show for it. This coming Saturday, I had a 20 miler on the schedule and was fully planning on running it and avoiding the Buttes until the other hunters had thinned out. But, some coworkers also have tags up there and are going on Saturday and asked if I would like to come along. I was immediately torn. Stay home and run or go with them and hunt? Ultimately, hunting won out as I just can't pass up an opportunity to avoid wasting money. We are leaving at the insanely early hour of 3:30 AM and will probably be gone until dark, which doesn't leave much room for running 20 miles.....nor will I probably have the energy after a day of hopefully dragging a huge buck out of the South Dakota boonies.
So, obviously my running schedule was going to take a hit. Looking back at my last several weeks of running, I decided that a cut-back week wouldn't be the worst thing in the world for me, so I decided that if I could get in at least 15 miles before work today (Friday), I would be happy with a 55 mile week. Secretly though, in my twisted little brain, I wanted to bag that 20 miler almost as bad as I want to bag a trophy buck. So, I made every arrangement to run 20 this morning: I brought gels with me, I got up a half hour earlier and I thought about 20 the entire time I was running. Generally, when I run in the pre-dawn darkness, I don't have the desire to go more than 12-14 miles....my body just does not have enough energy that early in the morning. Today was different though. At mile 10, I was starting to drag a little and was having a hard time wrapping my mind around another 10 miles. But, by mile 14 I was feeling great and by mile 16 (just when the sun was really starting to shed some light on the world) I was flying. The last 5 miles were my fastest even though I wasn't conciously pushing the pace any harder than I had for the first 15. It was a great feeling and ended up being one of the easiest 20 milers I can remember.
So, I bagged the 20 miler (and a 60 mile week). Now for that trophy buck....