Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Zumbro 100: pre-race thoughts and musings

A couple of jottings before I head off to the Zumbro 100 this weekend. As always I go into a race with a few flexible goals in order of importance:

  • Finish
I'm going to stop right here with the recitation of my goals. No one's finish is guaranteed at a 100 miler, especially someone like myself with only one prior attempt and finish. That finish gave me a great boost in confidence and experience, and both must be harnessed appropriately to get me to the end of that sixth loop.And now some more goals:
  • Run even(ish) loops
  • Manage the overnight.
  • Sub-30
  • Sub-26
  • Sub-24
Now, a little about the the arbitrary time goals. With a looped course and frequent aid stations (five per 16.67-mile loop), it should be relatively easy to control my pace from the get-go. The course on paper is broken into five sections with an aid station separating each section. Each section, except the last, has a 300-400 foot ascent and descent in it in addition to the other ups and downs typical of at trail. Three miles in I'll be at aid 1, have one of those ups and downs in me, and just like I was at the 2010 Surf the Murph, I'll be able to make sure my timing is in check.

The race plan? Run 3:30-3:45 (or 4 hour) loops for as long as possible, hold on through the overnight, and run (not walk) as fast as I can through the last loop and a half or so.

The sub-30 hour time is in there because it is the gold-standard cut off for major races such as Western States and Leadville. Although a 30-hour 100 miler at Zumbro is a lot different in effort than a 30-hour Western States finish, I want to make that my bench mark.

As for the 26-hour finish, this is based on the finishing times of another runner who finished Zumbro a few years ago and ran a similar time to me at Sawtooth and Voyageur 50 last year. He also runs slower 50Ks and 50 milers than me (although our 50-mile times are closer when I run poorly). Hence, I believe that it is a realistic goal.

The sub-24 has a similar comment to it as the sub-30 hour does. I put this out there because I want to reach for it. I don't have enough experience to put this out there as a realistic time goal, but I do think it is possible if everything goes right. In essence it would probably take a 10:30 and 13:30 50-mile splits (3:30 for front, 4:30 or something close thereof) to put down, and I'm not sure I can do that without seeing and experiencing the terrain prior to the race. This is also the beauty of a loop course. I get to see the thing so many damn times that I can better demand myself to take the first one easy so as to absorb all the details I can to run the latter ones at the same pace or effort.

Also, my money is on Adam Schwartz-Lowe to run sub 21:00 and lower his CR.

Finally, all bets are off it it rains significantly.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

First Yasso 800s of the year: week of March 26 - April 1

Big week to conclude a big March. Never have I run so many miles over so many runs on so many days for a single month. This week I took it out a little light on the mid-week runs and went a little long on the long run (it's so damn hard to just run 15 miles for a long run). Also, Yasso 800s are my friend. Seriously.

Monday: 5.4; 0:55
Slow OOB to Mt. Kato. Emphasis on slow.

Tuesday AM: 7.6; 1:07
Big M route in Mankato with all the big hills: Main; Glenwood; Warren; and Stadium. Yum.

Tuesday PM: 7.1; 0:55
6x Yasso 800s @ 3:15/rep with 3:15 jogs in between and 15 warm up. First time doing Yasso 800s, which are 800 meter repeats done at 5K pace. Apparently they are supposed to predict your marathon time, i.e. if you can do 10x Yassos at 3:15, you can run a 3:15 marathon.

Wednesday: 5.4; 0:49
Slow trip to Mt. Kato again. A little sore from yesterday's Yassos.

Thursday:  5.4; 0:41
Right hamstring was really sore today from Tuesday's Yassos. Nevertheless, pushed it hard on run and came in at 7:43/mile (even though it felt like faster). Great run.

Friday: 4.4; 0:42
OOB to Gazebo by Mt. Kato. Morning pre-dawn run and still slow going.

Saturday: 23.5; 3:15
Epic long run with Russ and Cindra and Co. Started at 6 AM with Russ and took first 7 or so really easy, and then pushed with Cindra to Rapidan (and then some) and back. Pushed hard last two miles, ran a 7:00 for mile 22 and brought last half mile in easy after Cindra accelerated to a 6:15 mile.

I found realize later that after this run was done, I had run 80 miles in the past seven days. This is because I did my long run last week on Sunday, hence it was included in that calculation.

Found out later that I was a wee bit dehydrated during run when I had a moderate headache for most of day. That'll teach me.

Sunday: 5; 0:50
Trail run at Seven Mile Creek with the guys. A little twingy to start because of yesterday's run as I can feel that I lack 2011's end-of-season structural fitness. Calves/Achilles' were a little tight, but they softened up and we pushed hard during last section.

Totals: 63.725; 9:15:01
YTD: 590.6; 84:59:51

March Totals: 27 running days; 31 runs; 238.8 miles (personal best by 6.2 miles!); 34:42:57.

Up next: Power taper week one of two. I'm going to run 50 miles mostly easy this week and try and pick up 30-minute tempo run I dropped two weeks ago when I was sick. The following week I am running Zumbro and so I'll cut the in-week mileage down to about 20 to 25 with some mile accelerations early week. Also, my Q2 workout two weeks from now is a back-to-back long run - the first of the season - and that will get dropped in favor of the race.