Well, I finally broke the curse this week. After several weeks where driving to Montana or getting sick or spraining my ankle prevented me from hitting 80 miles, I finally did it this week. And my reward? Well, nothing. It's just an arbitrary number, which just goes to show that runners can be obsessive about pretty stupid crap. But that doesn't mean I'm not gonna try to hit 80 again this week.
Sunday - 6.25 in the morning, another 4 in the afternoon. The afternoon run was split (2 miles each) with my two dogs. They each run fine alone, but not so well together. Plus, Molly is fat and out of shape and can't really handle more than 2 miles. Vedder, on the other hand, could go all day.
Monday - 6.25 in the morning, 4.5 in the afternoon.
Tuesday - 10 miles with 5x1200m intervals. Had to do this one on the indoor track (200m) at Black Hills St. University because all of the outdoor tracks are snowed under. This was the only run of the week where I really noticed my ankle. Towards the end of the run, it started getting a little sore, I presume from the constant turning. I also played two games of 3 on 3 basketball with my team in the evening. We lost both.
Wednesday - 11 miles in the morning, 4 in the afternoon.
Thursday - 9 miles.
Friday - 7 miles.
Saturday - 18 miles. Ran from my house in Belle to the Walmart in Spearfish, which is really only 16 miles, so I had to tack a couple on to the beginning of the run. This route is pretty much uphill the entire way, although it's very gradual for the first 10 miles or so. Then, after a monster hill (one where power hiking is just as fast as running) just before mile 10, the next 4 miles are constantly rolling hills. The kind of hills where you can see what appears to be the top at the next curve in the road and then when you get there you see that it just keeps going up. Finally, it tops out on another big hill and the final 2 miles are a nice downhill cruise into Walmart. I met Shannon there, finished up some grocery shopping and drove home. I have never run there and back, but with ultra training coming up, it might be something to consider.
Total - 80 miles
In addition to all that, I also ran the Freeze Your Fanny 4 mile race in Sundance, WY yesterday. Technically, that should go on next week's post since it's a new week, but I might as well report on it while it's fresh in my mind. I didn't have huge expectations coming into the race, which should be pretty evident from the fact that I ran 18 miles the day before it. I had taken 2nd place overall there last year, running a 26:02 (6:51 pace), which is pretty slow considering I ran my half marathon PR at 6:44 pace. But, the footing was pretty horrible last year, making it difficult to really push the pace. I was hoping this year to run something faster than that, but wasn't sure if the footing would be any better or how my legs would respond after the 18 miler.
As the name implies, it's typically pretty cold in Sundance in early February and this year was no different, but it wasn't horrible. The temp was about 25 with a light wind out of the east. There was less snow on the road than last year, you could actually see the pavement this year, but it was still a little slick in some spots. When the race started, I immediately found myself behind 7 high school cross country runners. Within the first mile, I managed to pass a couple of them and was sitting in 5th. Right at the 2 mile mark, the course heads up a short but fairly steep hill. I was able to catch and pass the 4th place kid here and started gaining on the 3rd place runner as we headed down a long downhill stretch after the summit. This is where my mind started playing with me. I knew that they were only giving away trophies for the top 3 overall runners and not age group awards (last year, they had age group awards, but no overall awards). So, now I found myself in 4th, right on the tail of 3rd, and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to out race this high schooler who probably has much fresher legs (I'm guessing he didn't run 18 the day before) and a much faster kick. For awhile, it seemed like he was slowing down, so I slowed down too and just drafted off of him heading down the hill. As we hit the final mile, I pulled alongside him, stayed there for awhile, and then tried surging to see if he would follow. He did. Damn. So, we hit the final turn side by side and were faced with a 3 block sprint to the finish, which is exactly the situation I didn't want. I pushed with all I had left and for the first two blocks we stayed dead even. Then we hit the final block before the finish and the kid took off like he was shot out of a cannon. I had absolutely nothing left, so backed off a touch and cruised in in 4th place, maybe 5-10 seconds behind him. Ended up with a 25:38 (6:39 pace), 24 seconds faster than last year, but 2 positions lower and just outside the trophies. All in all, a pretty decent race considering the circumstances.