After a cutback last week, the plan was to ramp the mileage back up into the 70s this week. Coincidentally, the temperature also crept up near the 70s for much of the week as spring seems to have a pretty solid foothold in western South Dakota. Unfortunately, the warm temps were accompanied by 20-30 mph winds pretty much all week. Buzzkill. Regardless, I imagined to get in all of my runs with only one hiccup on Wednesday:
Monday - Rest, played basketball.
Tuesday - 9 miles
Wednesday - 10 miles w/ 4 x 1 mile tempo intervals. I had planned on doing a straight up tempo run (i.e. 2 miles warmup, 6 miles tempo, 2 miles cooldown) but after a half mile the howling wind convinced me that that wasn't such a great idea. That and an inexplicably unhappy digestive system. So, I turned back (stopping at the house on my past to take care of some business) and headed to the high school track, which is at least partly sheltered from the wind, to run tempo intervals instead. The first one felt like crap and the urge to just say to hell with it was pretty strong. The next two felt better, but after the third I was forced to run over to the nearby rec center to use the bathroom (again). I went back out and finished off the 4th interval and felt pretty wiped out after that....more wiped out than I should after a relatively easy hard workout (if that makes sense).
Thursday - 8 miles. Made my first venture of the year up the Tinton Trail. Ran into some snow in the shady spots up higher, but for the most part the trail was in great shape.
Friday - 6.5 miles. Headed up Lookout Mtn. for some more trail running.
Saturday - 30 miles. I planned this one to be a Lean Horse simulation of sorts. I drove to Deadwood so that I could run on the Mickelson Trail. Although this is a totally different section of the Mickelson than the one that Lean Horse covers, the terrain is virtually identical, so as far as my legs know it's basically the same. The plan was to start at the trail terminus in Deadwood and run 15 miles out (backwards on the Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon course) and then turn around and head back down. Problem was, spring hasn't full arrived yet above 5,000 feet. I got about 6.5 miles up the trail and ran into soft, knee deep snow that continued on for as far as I could see. So, I created Plan B on the spot. Lucky for me, the spot where the snow started was also right at the point where the trail forks, creating a loop that goes back past Lead and then toward Deadwood again. As it turns out, this loop is almost exactly 15 miles. So, two loops, 30 miles and 4:49 later, I was done. It actually felt pretty good too. My legs were definitely tired the last 5 miles or so, but not "oh my God this bites I can't take this shit anymore when the hell can I stop??!!" tired (trust me, I know that feeling).
Sunday - 10.2 miles. Just an easy cruise around the countryside. My legs felt really heavy at first, but they loosened up after awhile and I actually pushed the pace down to 6:48 for that last 0.2, just for the hell of it.
Total - 73.7 miles
This coming week should be pretty similar mileage-wise. The only real difference will be the weekend, which will feature 25/15 instead of 30/10.
Oh, and today was the Boston Marathon. Hard to believe that at this time last year I was out there, my race done, probably hobbling my way back down Boylston St. to find meet up with some friends for a post-race beer (or ten). Sounds like perfect running conditions this year....Ryan Hall ran the fastest time ever by an American at Boston but still finished in 4th (one place lower than last year). Robert Cheryiout absolutely crushed the course record in 2:05:52. That is insanely fast for that course. Man, being away makes me want to go back, but I've got some other (much longer) business to take care of first.