In South Dakota, you're never really sure if spring is here until, oh, July. By then, it's pretty safe to assume that the last snow has fallen, at least until September or October. Inevitably, April rolls around and teases us with awesome running weather only to pull the rug out with a spring snowstorm. Last year was a good example as we got hammered with three blizzards in a 10 day span during the last week of March and first week of April. It wasn't that bad this year, but we did have a winter storm roll through Thursday night and Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, the roads were clear again and in many areas the snow had melted away, but the Hills (and, consequently, the best running trails) are still covered in a fresh layer. Of course, spring is far from over, so I would be hesitant to call this winter's last gasp, but one can dream.
Monday - Rest. Played basketball at lunchtime.
Tuesday - 9 miles. Ugh. Tuesday's have proven to be rough for me ever since I started Lean Horse training. Something about back to back long runs on the weekend combined with a rest day on Monday (and basketball too) leaves my legs dead on Tuesday.
Wednesday - 10 miles. Headed to the track and ran 4x1 mile tempo intervals. My tempo pace isn't what it once was (like when I was peaking for Boston last year), but I guess that's to be expected when I'm trying to teach my body to run a long damn ways.
Thursday - 8 miles. Inevitably there's a run from the previous week that I really don't remember. I can't recall much of anything about this, I just know that my calendar says I ran 8 miles, so I guess I probably did.
Friday - 5 miles. I definitely remember this one. The aforementioned snow struck overnight. Typical of a spring snowstorm, it was barely cold enough for the rain to switch over, so the snow was of the heavy, wet variety. When I headed out for my run, the streets were covered with an inch of slush. Within one block, my feet were soaked.
Saturday - 15 miles. After staying up late the night before at the Rapid City Rush hockey game (a 7-6 OT win!), I had to get up at the buttcrack of dawn on a Saturday morning to squeeze in a run before heading back to Rapid yet again where my wife and kids were all running the Fools 4 Mile race (well, the kids ran the 1K). After that, it was back home for my son's 6th birthday party. I knew if I didn't get this run in early in the morning, it might not get done at all, so I forced myself out of bed and headed out. I probably ran this faster than I should when I'm ultra training, but because of the time crunch I felt compelled to get it done.
Sunday - 20 miles. I felt the overly fast pace from Saturday early on in this one, but eventually my legs loosened up. I also ran this one on a fairly tough, hilly route, just for kicks. Rather than incorporating a set run/walk ratio like I have been for my 25 milers, I decided I would run the entire way up until about 14 miles where it gets really hilly and then I would walk the uphill and run the downhills, which is basically what I'll end up doing for the first hilly 16 miles of Lean Horse. Well, turns out the road I was running on totally went to hell right at 14 miles. It was pure mud for over a mile. I was able to run some shorts stretches of it, but ended up walking most of it with what felt like 20 lbs. of mud caked on my shoes. Finally, I reached a more solid stretch of road and was able to run again. When I got done I actually felt really good, definitely didn't feel like I'd just run 15/20 back to back and the soreness afterward was minimal. Maybe this ultra training is really working...
Total - 67 miles
This coming week is a planned cutback week, as is every 4th week of my training schedule. I'm hoping to hit the trails this weekend for a long run with another guy who's training for Lean Horse, but we'll have to see how cooperative Mother Nature is in that regard. Right now, the forecast looks good for later in the week, so I guess there is hope.