The annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally has descended upon the Black Hills. There are literally bikes everywhere. Hundreds of thousands of them in an area that typically holds far, far fewer people than that. It's interesting, to say the least. This year, I decided to take advantage of the semi-controlled chaos and took a job at the Buffalo Chip campground parking cars for the concerts. So far, it's been pretty slow, but with Toby Keith and Aerosmith on tap this week, things will get exponentially more exciting.
In any case, this past week was also my peak training week leading up to Lean Horse and it turned out quite well:
Monday - Rest. Played basketball at lunchtime.
Tuesday - 8.9 mile progression run. The first mile was about 8:40 and they got faster from there. The eighth was 6:35 and I felt every second of that one. It was one of those workouts that leaves you feeling a little wobbly at the end, in a good way.
Wednesday - 5 miles. Basketball again.
Thursday - 9 miles with 6 strides.
Friday - Rest.
Saturday - 31.1 miles in 5 hours even. I used the 20:4 run/walk ratio again and it worked very well this time. My running pace toward the end was actually slightly faster than at the beginning. About 1.5 hours in, I got into a groove and cruised from there.
Sunday - 23.7 miles in just under 4 hours. I knew going in that this run wasn't going to feel as good as Saturday's and it didn't. My legs were tired and my running pace was slower, but not horribly so. It was actually more of a chore mentally than physically. It was much warmer and windier than the day before, I never got into that magical groove and I was basically just in a pissy mood for most of the run. But, that was the point of this one....I know I'm going to go through periods like that during Lean Horse. Running ultras isn't all peaches and cream, after all.
Total - 77.7 miles
Lean Horse is just three weeks away now, so it's time to start tapering. This weekend's long runs will probably both be in the 3 hour range and then next weekend's will be more like 1.5 hours. I know now that I can cover 54.8 miles in 9 hours (granted, with an 18 hour break in the middle). The question is, how fast can I cover 50 miles in one stretch? Really, my main goal for Lean Horse is just to finish, but I would like to finish in less than 8.5 hours. We shall see....