We now enter the time of year in South Dakota where it seems as though Mother Nature is going through menopause with mood swings as wild and severe as a hungry school of piranhas that just smelled blood in the water. Early last week, temps were spring-like, with afternoon highs in the 50s and 60s...Rapid City even set a record high of 64 or something like that one day. Hell, overnight lows were in the 30s and 40s, which I'm usually pretty happy with as the high temp this time of year. Of course, that couldn't last and as quickly as it left, winter returned in the form of a winter storm that rolled in on Saturday, dropped temps to the teens with negative windchills and left behind over 6 inches of fresh snow (to add insult to injury, almost all of the snow we had before had finally melted by Friday). Son. Of. A.....
Monday - 7.1 miles. Beautiful day, had every intention of heading up Lookout Mtn. at lunchtime. Only problem was that I forgot to pack a shirt with my running gear in the morning. So I had to settle for a road run after work.
Tuesday - 6.2 miles in the morning, 6 in the afternoon. Made damn sure to pack a shirt for the afternoon run this time and did get up on the Lookout Mtn. trails. They were mostly free of snow, but there were some pretty slick ice patches and one section of still deep snow near the top.
Wednesday - 10.2 miles with 6 tempo. The term "tempo" takes on a new meaning during ultra training. Back when I would actually focus on a marathon, my tempo pace was faster than my marathon pace by 20 or 30 seconds. Now, I'm just happy if I can actually get to what used to be my marathon pace. Doing a tempo run early in the morning doesn't help matters any....just can't get my legs to turn over that fast that early.
Thursday - 6 miles in the morning, 4 in the afternoon. A little chillier out. Nothing at all remarkable about either run.
Friday - 6 miles. Back up on Lookout Mtn. The snow and ice was much reduced since Tuesday, but it had been replaced by mud. I managed to slip on said mud once, but also fell onto the same patch of mud, so a pretty soft landing.
Saturday - 15.2 miles. Got up at the buttcrack of dawn to meet up with Ryan in Sturgis and run the Centennial Trail. We ran the first section of the Black Hills 100 course, starting at Woodle Field and following the trail out and back. Like Lookout, the trail was mostly clear but had a few patches of ice in the shady areas. With about 2 miles left in the run, I managed to find one of those ice patches and fell. Hard. Landed on my left side, with my upper buttcheek (for lack of a more technical term) taking the brunt of it. Usually when I fall on a run I bounce back up and keep going (while looking around to see if anyone saw me fall). This time, though, I had to sit there on the trail and catch my breath for a little bit before I got up. I knew nothing was seriously damaged, but it sure as hell hurt. After the initial pain wore off, I felt fine running back to the vehicles but after I cooled down it got pretty sore.
Sunday - 7 miles. The winter storm struck in earnest overnight, dropping at least 6 inches of snow. My butt was sore from the fall the day before and the weather/road conditions left me with very little motivation to run outside, nor was the idea of running 15 miles (as I had planned for the day) on the indoor track all that exciting. I seriously contemplated ditching a run altogether and just calling it a rest day, but I finally forced myself out the door in the afternoon and managed to get 7 miles done on the indoor track. My legs (and sore butt) felt fine, but I just was not into it mentally, which is half the battle.
Total - 67.7
So, three trail runs this week, which isn't bad for February. Of course, if the weather would cooperate that number could increase, but I won't hold my breath on that one.