Apparently this is becoming a bi-weekly blog for me. My excuse this time is the Sturgis Rally. It's big, it's loud and it's a royal pain in the ass if you live near it. I mean, consider the fact that there were an estimated 600,000 bikers at the Rally this year. The normal population of the entire state of South Dakota is roughly 800,000. Yeah. In any case, there are two popular strategies for dealing with the Rally if you're a local: either pack up and leave for a week or find a way to take advantage of it for personal (monetary) gain. I chose the latter and, for the second year in a row worked in the paid parking lot at the Buffalo Chip campground, which is also a major concert venue (this year included Drowning Pool, Tesla, Buckcherry, ZZ Top, Bob Dylan, Kid Rock, Stone Sour, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, Disturbed and Scorpions, among others). Needless to say, Rally week was hectic for me between running, going to my regular job in the morning, out to the Buffalo Chip in the afternoon, back home late at night (11:00 or later) and then up the next morning to repeat the whole process. It doesn't pay all that great, but it's fairly easy extra money and I got to hear some bands I've wanted to hear for awhile for free (namely Drowning Pool, Stone Sour and Disturbed).
Anyhow, on to running. My last week of "real" training (the week before the Rally) looked something like this:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 9.3 miles
Wednesday - 10.5 miles
Thursday - 8 miles
Friday - 6 miles
Saturday - 16 miles
Sunday - 30 miles
Total - 79.8 miles (yes, I would've run an extra 0.2 if I would have realized soon enough)
The weekend total of 46 and the weekly total of damn near 80 were both highs for my Lean Horse training. Does that mean I'm ready to run 100 miles? I have no friggin clue, but at this point I'm as ready as I'm gonna get.
The week of the Rally, and the first week of taper, looked like this:
Monday - Rest
Tuesday - 8 miles
Wednesday - 10.2 miles
Thursday - 6 miles
Friday - 15 miles
Saturday - 15.5 miles
Sunday - 7.3 miles
Total - 62 miles (notice the extra 0.3 on Sunday to hit an even number for the week...I learned my lesson)
You can see the mid-week miles didn't change much, but I ran fewer on the weekend. The best run of the week was that 7.3 on Sunday...I didn't head out until late afternoon, which is a time when I rarely run, and my legs felt great. What was supposed to be an easy 8:30-8:45 pace effort turned into a mini progression run that finished at sub-7 pace for the last 0.3. Now, that's not blazing fast by any means, but it's faster than I have been running for most of ultra training and it felt really fast after back to back 15s the previous two days. Let's see....I ran a PR at Heart of the Hills last month the day after a 30 miler and then I had a great run this past week after a combined 30.5 miles the two days before. Apparently, my legs need about 30 miles on em to get into the zone...
And the highlight of the week had absolutely nothing to do with me (well, I was there, but all I did was stand and watch). Shannon ran her 2nd marathon on Sunday at Leading Ladies in Spearfish. She's been getting steadily faster in the past year and was hoping to better her time of 5:06 from the same race last year. She did that and then some, finishing a full 30 minutes faster in 4:36 (and that was after cramping calves slowed her down in the final 3 miles). At this rate, she'll be faster than me after just 3 more marathons. I'd better stop slacking off!
Okay, so the Rally is over and Lean Horse is looming large. I feel like I've done what I can do and like I've not done nearly enough all at the same time. Isn't taper awesome??