The last couple of weeks have represented a sharp contrast for me running-wise. After getting back from a work-related trip to Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, it was like I had been shot out of a cannon on every run. I was cruising through runs effortlessly at paces faster than any I've averaged in a long time. It was my definition of the fabled "runner's high"....being able to just get into cruise control and not feel the effort at all while still moving at a decent clip. It was a fun ride while it lasted, but when it ended, it ended with a thud. I set out for a longish run, 14 miles or so, last Sunday and knew within the first mile that that was not going to happen. I just felt horrible....legs felt weak and I had no energy or ambition. I forced myself through 7 miles, giving me 50 for the week, before calling it quits. Things haven't really gotten better as the week has gone on. I'm getting runs done and some miles in, but they're slow, much slower than last week, and I've had some digestive issues that I can't pinpoint the cause of. If it's not one thing (dead legs) it's another (digestive issues). For example, today I headed out for an 8 mile run on the Tinton Trail, my first trail run since the Thunder Run race a few weeks ago. My legs didn't feel too bad and the run would have been pretty damn enjoyable if not for the fact that my bowels were in revolt for much of it. Too much information or not, a trip to the bushes was required midway through and even after that I didn't feel much better. Again, what to do, what to do?
In any case, I also made a change to my racing schedule last week, which was difficult because of how great I was feeling last week. It turned out that if I ran the Sundance 50K, I would have to miss my son's football game that afternoon (he's playing his first year of youth football). I decided to drop down to the 10K instead, thinking that I could run the race and haul ass to Rapid City in time to watch his game at 1:00. Well, I forgot that the 10K doesn't start until 10:30 and then, to top things off, his game got bumped up to 11:30, making it totally impossible to do both. So, I ditched Sundance, my first ever DNS, and watched the game instead. And it was the right choice. The Spearfish Rams beat the Box Elder Patriots 37-12 and Caid had a blast. And now I know how my mom felt all those years watching me play junior high and high school football....being the parent of a player is nerve-wracking!
As for next year, which I posted about last week, I'm heavily leaning toward the Where's Waldo 100K. The timing is fairly good, right at the start of the school year and before youth football starts again, and the course looks pretty damn awesome (which translates to "harder than hell"). The Deadwood-Mickelson Trail Marathon and the Bighorn 50 in June and the Missoula Marathon in July should give me a solid build-up and I'll probably use a plan very similar to the one I used for Lean Horse this year, but hopefully with more trail miles to prepare me for running in the Cascades.
Okay, excuse me now while I do a little bit of advertising. As you may or may not know, I am one of the co-race directors of the brand spankin new Black Hills 100 (and 100K and 50 mile), which is set to debut June 25, 2011. Registration will open tomorrow, October 1st, at www.ultrasignup.com. As is usually the case, you can save some dough if you register early. For more information on the race itself, check out www.blackhills100.com, and look up Black Hills 100 on Facebook or Black Hills Ultra on Twitter (Black Hills 100 was already taken on Twitter, believe it or not). We've recently added an elevation profile to the website. Not sure if it is going to attract more people or scare more away. The word I use to describe the Centennial Trail is "relentless"....it doesn't ever really give you much of a break. Regardless, if you have any questions about the event, feel free to ask them here or through Facebook/Twitter.