Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Almost Done Planning My 2010 Race Schedule

Earlier this year I wrote a facebook status update that I was vacillating between my usual urge to run lots of races and not really caring to run organized races at all.

So, I guess I got over that.

But as late as early March I still have a few decisions to make. So to think out loud on-line.....

Not feeling really inclined, against bad odds, to win my age division in the PAUSATF Ultra Grand Prix back, so though I'll be racing for Adam Blum's Quicksilver Team, I'll only be running a few series races. PCTR runs won't again be fully comped for the Mountain Running Team this year; the 20% is still nice, but not enough to sway my decision making too much. (I found last year it was very fun and easy to sign up for a race when it was free.) :)

I have enough new 100 milers I want to do, so I think we're going to have another season with lots of them. Even if things don't go perfectly, and I don't place as highly as I feel I should or would like, they always give me a substantial feeling of accomplishment. They are memorable maybe in proportion to how long they take to finish. Plus, since I'm travelling to a lot of them, I'll feel like I'll again be a good La Sportiva ambassador. I really put that yellow jersey out there these last two years, and was in most of my races the sole Mountain Running Team representative.

Jed Smith 50k happened. It didn't go as well as it could've, but I did the best I could.

The 2nd running of the 2nd Saratoga Fat Ass hosted by Keith Blom 3rd weekend this month, also happened.

Got into Way Too Cool 50k, 2nd Saturday of March. A great race, very exciting with the always deep field, but for a while I was sort of equivocal. After making the lottery, I didn't bother to pay, but based on insider information that I might be doing some BIG UNNAMED RACE in late June that I still haven't done yet, figured I should sign up since Cool includes portion of Western States that I would be running in the dark. So I paid my Cool fee literally at the last possible hour. Since then, found out that the the BIG RACE in June was once again happening without me. Emailed RD Julie Fingar and asked the transfer/refund policy, and THERE ARE NO TRANSFERS, ROLLOVERS OR REFUNDS (of the entry fee which is now $95). Uh, guess I'll just run it. Incidentally, when I submitted my schedule requests, I did ask for no evening shift on Friday night, but forgot to also request no late shifts Thursday night, and got scheduled to work 4pm to 2am, which is not conducive to optimizing one's physical and mental readiness given how early I have to get up Saturday. (If you don't believe me, try it.)

Offered to pace the inaugural Oakland Marathon, last weekend of March. Somehow I ended up on the 3:20 pace group list. The race is hilly. Sure I should be able to belt out a 3:20 even with a hilly course, but I'm supposed to be comfortable running that time even if I have a bad day, and of course I'm supposed to be giving lots of verbal encouragement to my pace group while holding one of those signs with the goal time the whole way. I told the pace group coordinator I thought my buffer was a bit thin (as some comparisons, Mark Gilligan is doing 3:30, Daniel Fabun 3:50), but apparently they are short of leaders for the faster pace groups. There is another pace group leader assigned, but I would feel bad and lame if I couldn't keep up. So, let's not have a bad day.

As a result of the above two, am going to have to pass on The Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 50k the 3rd weekend of March, which happened to be the only race I won last year. Feel bad-- beautiful point-to-point course for a great cause.

April-- Was going to do towards PCTR's Diablo 50 miler on Saturday the 18th (which I missed the last two years), but it was recently cancelled due to state budget cuts. Big bummer. American River 50 out because returning from a vacation and although I CAN afford the $145 to register now, I'd rather not. Well, at least no guilt for sitting out of Ruth Anderson again. I could do PCTR's point-to-point Skyline to the Sea 50k again, but I need something longer than 50k, and though S2S is trail, it's mostly downhill. I will do enough hills in my training.

Early last December, I got into Masanutten (100 mile) in mid-May via its novel and delightedly transparent lottery system, based on the Dow Jones average at 4 pm lottery day. My sister lives a couple hours away, and popped out a baby girl last fall, so we figured we should visit them before my niece ceases to be an infant. Felt a little guilty about being gone Friday afternoon to (hopefully) no later than Sunday morning, but have decided I need to just do this and get over it. (I have been so far unsuccessful in convincing my sister to do a weekend trip to the Appalachians.) Will be underprepared for hills and for the technical course. And let's hope there are no thunderstorms, as I am not a big fan of lightning.

Because of this, I'm almost definitely NOT running the only two PAUSATF races I did run last year-- Quicksilver 50 mile the weekend prior (ending a 3-year streak) and Ohlone 50k the weekend after (ending a 6-year streak). Didn't get into Miwok 2 weeks prior, probably not a bad thing if I want any chance of running MMT competitively.

June -- Considered going back to Kettle Moraine, but doing the rerouted San Diego 100 instead allows us a Southern Cal vacation to Legoland and I get an extra week (4 total) to recover from MMT.

July -- Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) . I signed up for the 50 miler just in time before it filled earlier this month, knowing I can upgrade to the 100. I got really sick that last time I did the 100, the first year it was offered. I guess it takes 4 years to forgot how sick and difficult it was for me to sign up again. Should I upgrade to the 100? I've avoided all other high-elevation races over 50 miles since then, so I feel like I need to confront this and find out if I capable of something better than finishing dead last. Oh, and by the way, they have to change the course this year, so it will be much harder. The contingency is family coordination, since I don't expect my family to hang out at Tahoe or at home while I'm gone for more than 2 days.

August -- unless the rains this winter have completely washed away the Angeles Crest (AC) course, I'm scheduled for my deferred entry from last year's cancelled race the last weekend of August. Doing a Headlands 50 mile the first weekend would fit the gap between TRT and AC perfectly (3 weeks after TRT and 3 week before AC) but unfortunately for me, PCTR has split the 50 and 100 mile versions, doing the shorter distance the same weekend as Tahoe in July and the longer version the first weekend of August.

I COULD do the 100 miler Headlands, and convince myself that since I won't be running Tahoe or AC fast due to the altitude, I can handle this three 100-milers in three weeks thing. I'm tempted to be stupid. Should I sign up for Headlands Hundred? To give myself some sanity credit, I'm not considering repeated Vineman the weekend before.

I think Monica Scholz is running a 100 miler every weekend one is being held, totally 30 this year. Oh, what the heck...

September -- maybe take a break. Pine to Palm up in southern Oregon looks awesome, and close enough to drive to with my family, but I think I've got enough 100 milers and it's only 3 weeks after AC. Same for the resurrected Rio del Lago. Stevens Creek 50k got moved to August.
Would consider the inaugural brutal looking DRTE 100, but have a high school reunion that 1st weekend of October. After skipping Firetrails two straight years, feel I should do it this year, even though I can run those trails anytime. Last year I went to Chabot and took photos of some people finishing, but realized I should be running it instead, even if I was still sore from my 100 mile race in Oregon two weeks prior. And to pay homage to Ann Trason (the RD). Would like to go back to SF 24 hour (or at least the 12 hour) the last weekend, as I really feel I can run farther than last year. (And finish my race report faster.)

Probably Helen Klein in November for PAUSATF points, if I can still move after SF One Day. Or if I don't do the 24 hour run, to see if I can lower my flat 50 mile PR.

Finally, no more racing in December-- it's too busy. For instance, I don't think I got all our holiday greetings cards out. Also, I need to leave the weekends open for trips to Tahoe with the kids.


Gretchen said...

Upgrade to the 100 at TRT?


Definitely. :)

Looks like a brutal schedual, as usual for you. But I guess that's part of what makes it fun!

Mike L said...

My lord. I'm completely exhausted just reading that race schedule! Best of luck in all of them!

Bill Traynor said...

As you mentioned, Monica Scholz is indeed attempting to run 30x100 milers in 2010. You can view her tentative schedule and results in the right sidebar at Monumental Effort.