Well, last week, on the Thursday between the Wheatfield 1/2 and the Horse Butte 10 miler, I did a Yasoo 800s workout. It was a prelude to the 10 miler - it sucked. I think I barely managed to average 2:49. As with Horse Butte, I was tired and my legs just felt like crap.
Fast forward past the 10 miler last Sunday and on to this week of training. Monday was spent with Dan Harshburger and Sascha marking almost 20 miles of Rumble course. It was nice and slow, and just great to be out on the trail with my favorite running partner, Sascha, and one of my very favorite people, Dan.
Tuesday morning was supposed to be a hill workout on Overturf Butte: 8 x a little less than 1/2 mile, with probably 175' vertical per repeat. I awoke to a couple inches of new snow, and it just got deeper and as I drove to Bend. Hm, what to do? Well, the hill workout - that's what! So I did, and was happy with my decision. I ran hard on each repeat and felt great. It was fun to be feeling peppy again - especially in the middle of a snow storm!
Wednesday was a planned day off, with thoughts of a solid track workout on Thursday morning. Well, I decided I needed a massage in the morning, so the track got pushed back to after work. The massage was great, if not a bit painful on my chronically tight calves. But still wanting to get in a solid track workout, I decided to go for a little 40 minute jog at lunch to loosen up my legs.
That jog was just the ticket I needed. Warming up on the way to the track, I felt a familiar sense of lightness and springyness - kinda like I did while warming up for the 1/2. This was my last intense track workout before Boston (which is in 11 days), so I wanted it to be good.
I ran an unorthodoxed psuedo-ladder of 400-800-400-1600-800-400-800-400. I ran a similar workout last year 10 days before my 2:44 at Yakima, and I loved the mix of quick 400s and 800s, with one 1600 in the middle for a little strength. My friends were just finishing as I started, but they stuck around to cheer me on. Even though they weren't running with me, this really helped. So, by the numbers: 78-2:40-77-5:24-2:37-75-2:37-71. I NEVER start out a workout that hard; I was a bit worried that I was going to die, but I just kept feeling stronger and going faster. And to end with a 71...I don't remember the last time I pulled out one of those.
Besides a few short tempo runs before Boston, the biggest thing on my plate is the Rumble this Sunday. With 312 entrants, this is by far the largest field ever (170 in the 30k and 142 in the 60k). In the 30k, defending champ, champ of the inaugural Rumble in 2003, c.r. holder, Olympic Marathon Trials runner, and nice guy Andy Martin is easily the favorite on the men's side. I expect Steve Larsen, Matt Lieto, and Joel Wirtz to be duking it out in the chase pack. I'm sorry that I'm not too familiar with the women's 30k field, but Tonya Olson should be in the mix. In the 30k doggie division, defending champ Chili, from Campbell River, BC, is expected to be challenged by Piper from Seattle. That, folks, might just be the race of the day. Seriously. On a side note, there are currently 31 dogs registered, which just happens to be the number of runners in the inaugural Rumble - that's awesome!
In the 60k, defending champ Rod Bien has been a bit behind in his preparation, as he's been busy having a third kid and opening a new running store. But he's fit and he'll run his heart out; plus, he'll be pinning on that #1 bib, which is always good for 10 minutes. I expect Eugene's Dan Olmstead and Scott Wolfe, and Bend's Billy Barnett and Paul Saladino to be trying to take down Rod. On the women's side, the Rumble's only three-time champ ('04, '05, '07) Kami Semick is looking fit and fast after a winter of injuries. She might be challenged by the whipper-snapper Jenn Shelton. However, Jenn did just win AR50 last Saturday so she may be a bit tired; but, as mentioned above, she is a whipper-snapper, so I'm sure she'll bounce back and give it all she's got. Also expected to be in the mix is another Bendite, Prudence L'Heureux. Along with Jenn, she recently moved to Bend and has definitely proven her toughness at Smith Rock.
With temps. in the 70s, all of the happy runners, and wagging tails, it's going to be a great weekend for Rumbling!