A week and a half ago, I figured I was too busy and it was only going to get worse in April. So I decided to forego my Boston goal and just run it for fun. Then I got pissed at myself for quitting, so I immediately decided to hammer out some miles last week and this week. Last week included my Sisters-to-Bend 26 miler, Pilot Butte repeats, Yasso 800s, and a tough 22 miler at Smith. It was a great week that resulted in 121 miles. I haven't put up that big of week in a while - I was pleased.
The thing with me is, the more miles I run, the stronger and faster I get. I was reminded of this on Monday when LMBM and I ran his hilly Awbrey Butte road loop. Although I had just run a lot of miles the previous week, I cranked this. And again - I was pleased.
Let's back up a bit first. Last Friday, Yasso 800s, 8 x 800: 2:48, 2:46, 2:44, 2:44, 2:42, 2:42, 2:41, 2:39. Average of 2:43. I was really happy with this. My fastest and slowest times didn't differ as much as they usually do, which means I started out hard and stayed more consistent throughout the workout. My pacing is starting to take shape. Another Friday bonus - my first fill-up in the Honda yielded 35.3 mpg!
Then Saturday was the big play-day at Smith with the gang. Lots of people running lots of different miles, routes, vertical, etc. I started out with a whole gaggle of people, including Bien, Bronco, Kami, Prudence, Stan, and Portlanders Olga, Gail, and Sid (oddly, no dogs in this group). Bronco and Rod took the lead up Gray Butte, while Kami (finally coming back strong from injury), Prudence (new to Central Oregon - super nice and a tough runner), and I shuffled along behind. After summiting, pounding down, and finally following them to the new Cole Trail, Rod and Jeff kept going down Cougar Canyon while I joined the girls on Cole Trail. Last time I ran at Smith, it was with the boys, this time, with the girls.
After a couple of sweet downhill miles, I decided to roll my ankle in a frozen horse-hoof print. Yowzah, that hurt - it's been a while since I've done one that good. I gimped along for a bit, while Kami and Prudence were nice enough to slow with me. Eventually it felt better, and when we got down on flatter ground next to a canal, I decided to open it up for about 10 minutes. It felt awesome to just let the legs go under the nice warm sunshine! After my little tempo, I rejoined the girls as we climbed back towards Smith. Along the way, we ran into Dan and April, and saw them once again a few miles later. Since they were done for the day, Dan graciously re-filled our bottles so we didn't have to make the killer climb to the parking lot!
Bottles refilled, Prudence, Kami, and I set off for Burma. I think I prefer this climb at this point of the run because I'm warmed up, as opposed to the start when I'm still cold. I felt great going up. At the top, we decided to take the traverse back towards Gray Butte; we heard later that the Bien/Bronco group had been joined by Erik Skaggs and Billy, and Erik did what none of us had ever thought possible - he ran the scar! Well, with that not anywhere near our thoughts, the girls and I cruised back to the Gray Butte saddle at a pretty good clip. And that is where they showed how tough they are, and where I showed how weak I am. Kami decided to run up Gray Butte again, and Prudence thought that was a good idea. So up, up, up they went, while I just jogged the final 10 minutes back down to my car. Thanks Prudence and Kami for a great run!
The rest of the afternoon was spent at Bronco's farm, bbqing with friends, b.s.ing, listening to soon-to-be-legend Erik talk about his run up the scar, eating great food, checking out the chickens, and generally just hanging out. It was a great ending to a fun day of running (and I even got sent home with a dozen farm-fresh eggs!).
I woke up on Sunday super-sore from Smith. I hadn't been that sore from a run in a long time - it was nice. And it also reminded me that I am, in fact, focusing on the roads of Boston right now, and not the trails of WS, yet. So that will be my last visit to Smith until after Boston.
After a sluggish and snowy 12 miler with Sascha on part of the Rumble course, I joined about 15 people at the Harshburgers as they generously hosted a great Easter potluck dinner. I love hanging out with Dan and Kathy - I challenge you to find 2 nicer people. Stop right now - it can't be done!
Tonight is my last night of work at Black Butte Ranch. I'm excited to be done so I can focus solely on the Fleet Feet now. This week at Fleet Feet has been filled with buidling racks, receiving and pricing inventory, and we've even started putting a few items on the floor. Rod also challenged both Rob and me to put-down a whole box of gels or a whole bottle of s-caps in 10 minutes. Whew, can you imagine?