Okay, so the title really has nothing to do with running, but it does describe what's been dominating my non-running life lately. The local Central Hockey League (a professional minor league roughly equivalent to AA baseball) team, the Rapid City Rush, are in the midst of a title run in only their second year of existence and we've been catching a few of the home playoff games (and watching the others online). By my memory (which is admittedly suspect) we've been to a total of 6 games this year (2 regular season and 4 playoff) and the Rush have won every single one. Caiden is convinced that if we had season tickets, the Rush would go undefeated at home. The playoff run has been an exciting one. The first playoff game we went to was just me and Caid for his birthday. That night, the Rush beat the Missouri Mavericks 7-6 in OT to finish off a first round sweep. A few nights later, the entire family went to game 1 of the Northern Conference finals against the Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs. Again, the game went to OT and, again, the Rush pulled out the win 5-4. That series ended up going to 7 games and Caid and I went to game 7 and saw the Rush dominate the Bugs 7-3 to win the conference championship and advance to the President's Cup finals. A few days later, it was the entire family again at game 2 of the final series against the Allen Americans and, yet again, the Rush won in OT 5-4 after scoring the game-tying goal with only 39 seconds left in regulation. That series stands at 1-1 (Allen won the opener 4-1) and we're eagerly awaiting the outcome of the next three games down in Texas to find out if/when we'll get a chance to watch one more Rush game before the season is over. Of course, if they were to win all three in Allen to clinch the Cup, it wouldn't hurt my feelings too bad.
Okay, on to running I guess. This was a "hard" week in my training cycle and it certainly felt like it. For some reason, the end of the week was pretty rough. Much rougher than last week, which included a 30 mile long run. Such is the mystery of running.
Monday - Rest. I didn't even play basketball. We were supposed to conduct a prescribed burn at work, so I didn't bother to bring my basketball clothes but then the burn got canceled because it had rained too much the night before and we ended up getting back to town just in time to play. Oops.
Tuesday - 9 miles. Don't really remember much about this one. I think I waited and did it at lunchtime, but I can't really remember why.
Wednesday - 10.2 miles w/ 6 at tempo pace. The term "tempo pace" is relative in this situation. I generally don't like doing tempo runs at 4:30 in the morning because it almost never turns out well and this one was no exception. Under normal conditions (i.e. later in the day when my body is actually awake), I would run tempo miles at around 6:30-6:45 pace. On this morning, it was more like 7:00-7:05 pace, although I did finally dip under 7 minutes for the last couple of miles (but just barely).
Thursday - 6.2 miles. Wow. My legs were REALLY sore after that tempo run, which is odd because it's not like I haven't been totally ignoring speed and temp work. But my quads were shot, like I'd just run a downhill marathon even though the route I ran on Wednesday was fairly flat.
Friday - 25 miles. Actually felt pretty decent for most of the run. Well, except for the fact that I got soaking wet. Scattered showers turned into steady showers at approximately mile 22. Around that same time, I started feeling a significant twinge in my left calf, which for some reason is my problem calf....I never get knots or pulls in the right one. It wasn't so bad that it affected my running, but I did notice it. Regardless, I finished the 25 miles feeling pretty good overall.
Saturday - 15 miles. Oh. My. God. Hands down the most miserable training run I can remember from recent history. By mile one I was ready to call it quits and it just did not improve from there. My legs were sore and dead tired and I just was not into it mentally. The only thing that got me through was telling myself that it was good preparation for Lean Horse because I am very sure that I will feel the same way at some point (probably several points) during that race.
Sunday - 6.3 miles. We had spent the night in Rapid City after the Rush game since Shannon was running a 10K on Sunday morning in Rapid (where she rocked out a PR on a pretty damn tough course complete with a frigid head wind heading up the mile long hill at the beginning). Before the race, I headed up to the Hansen-Larsen trail system on M Hill in Rapid and got some trail running in. I spaced out at some point and was convinced that I had actually run 7.3 miles, but when I got back to the car and clicked the screen on my Garmin over to the page that shows total miles it disagreed with me and I didn't really feel the need to tack on another meaningless mile, so 6.3 it was. Felt better than Saturday's run for sure, although the pace was much slower thanks to running up and down a mountain.
Total - 71.7 miles
Exactly two miles shy of last week's total. I ain't losing any sleep over it.
Oh, and hey, while I'm rambling about totally unrelated topics, the NFL Draft was last weekend. Once again, I didn't get selected (bastards), but the Seahawks actually had what appears to be a damn fine draft, at least on paper. Of course, we won't know for a year or two, but maybe there's actually room for optimism about the coming season. For the record, I wasn't a big fan of hiring Pete Carroll as their new head coach but so far, so good I guess. We'll see if it translates to the playing field.