Sunday, January 17, 2016

2016 Plans

My tentative race plans will be:
  • Zumbro Midnight 50, April 8, 2016
  • Spring Superior 50K
  • Kettle 100
  • Fall Superior 50
Context is important. My little guy will be a big brother some time in late July. This means running will be effectively shut down once kiddo no. 2 shows up. A couple notes on each race and my plains for them.

Zumbro is there for the overnight training, and the potential to run in adverse conditions. I've raced there twice (2012 and 2015) and dodged the 2013 and 2014 years of nasty weather. We'll see what the weather brings in 2016. 

I also ran this race poorly early on and got hurt half way through last year. This year, the run will be smart and even. I have score to settle with the course, if you will. With ideal conditions and smart running, I think sub-ten hours is doable.

1/31/16 EDIT: I will also be running be running that New Prague Half-Marathon (I know! A race shorter than 50K.) on May 7. It's part of the Kettle-specific training to run fast on dense terrain (asphalt), see below.

Spring Superior 50K, if the lottery gods favor me, will be a final training run for Kettle. I have a long-term goal of running this (and Afton, for that matter) sub-five-hours, but again this race needs to be run smooth and even. My PR here is a 5:19 or so, and I am confident I can best that. EDIT: 1/31/16: The lottery smile upon me, and I will be running this race. 

I have a score to settle with the Kettle 100 as well. This will be my "A" race this year, and I need it to qualify for another round of the lottery for Western States (for the 2017 race). I'm going to train as specifically for this as I can, identifying two portions of the course that kicked my butt last years: the heat; and the hard-and-flat first section that you go over four times. I'll do what heat training that I can, and do some quality workouts on the road to best simulate the conditions of that concrete-stiff surface. The grass running and dirt sections can be trained at Afton and Lebanon, and the single track can be trained at Afton and on the SHT. Goals: 1) Finish; 1.5) Finish with consistent effort and nothing left in the tank; 2) Sub-24; 3) sub-22; 3) Sub-Matt Patten's 2009 6th place 19:35:16. 

Fall Superior 50 miler will be run with whatever is left in the tank. I don't expect a good time, but I do expect a finish. I'm running this and not the 100 because the new kiddo is more important, and if I'm going to run a 100 miler - particularly this one - I need to put everything I have into it. And I can't run do that with a newborn taking priority over everything: sleep, training, etc. Running the 50 also means that my time away from the new one and my wife will be ~30 hours (Friday afternoon to late Saturday evening at the least) instead of something close to double that (Thursday afternoon to Sunday AM). This race will be run on my residual remaining fitness from earlier in the year, and so I don't expect something hard or fast, just a finish please. 

What comes after this 50 miler will likely depend on whether I finished Kettle. If not, I may need to look to Western States qualifiers in October and November. I'd rather avoid that, but I also don't want to miss a year of qualifying. 

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