"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Friday, February 18, 2011

April Race Quandary

Post #666!

I usually have one good race in April, before things fall apart and I whine until October about how I'm sick and injured (at which point I start planning for the next year). Looking at the results from the Superior 100, the two races most often done in preparation by top finishers are the Trail Mix 50K and Voyageur 50 Mile. Trail Mix is a good preparatory April race - and the current header photo of this blog is me winning the thing in 2008 - but I'm wavering as to whether I should do it.

The race schedule for April goes:
April 3 Ron Daws 25K
April 9-10 Zumbro 100 Mile
April 17 Trail Mix 50K
April 24 Chippewa Moraine 50K
April 30 Race for the Lakez (Brainerd) Marathon [or Get In Gear 10K]

Daws is cheap, shorter than the others and mostly road. Zumbro is way too long and expensive. The Brainerd Marathon is too far away, but would allow me to go head-to-head with Chris Hanson, who always does Superior. Chippewa is hit-and-miss; Sea Legs Girl and Fast Bastard say they will be there, and I see Helen Lavin and Val LaRosa signed up (it's a cheap race if you sign up 9 months early!) - it's a decent course, but it just isn't one of my favorites; if I did well or not, it wouldn't tell me anything about my conditioning.

That leaves Trail Mix. It would give me a good idea of what shape I'm in, but that in itself worries me, because I know I'm way behind where I want to be and I'll spend the year obsessively trying to quantitate just what the results mean. Finishing an hour behind Brian Peterson or Chris Lundstrom would be deflating, when I've won the stupid thing three years ago. And there's just no way I can whip myself into racing shape by then without sacrificing the rest of the year.

Add to that the fact that I simply can't afford to waste money on races I can't hope to do well in this year and it looks like no racing for me this spring. Perhaps I'll pace someone at Zumbro.

Run. Race... Repent?


Colin said...

Thanks; that answers the question I posted on your previous entry!

Have you considered "monetizing" your blog? Seems like you have a decent enough following and you post regularly; maybe over time you could get enough pennies from Google to pay for a race entry fee or two?

I've signed up for a bunch of races from the MDRA Grand Prix; I'll be running the Human Race 8K, Get In Gear 10K, and New Prague Half marathon (and also signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon).

shannon said...

Running the Trail Mix 50K would give you a good idea of what shape your in, and because it's early in the racing season, it would also give you ample time to make adjustments to your training schedule for races later in the season.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

NO ADS1!1 Don't sell out, SteveQ! It'd be like that first time a Who song appeared in a car commercial!

Am I the only one who gets kinda depressed when I go to a blog and see that it has been "monetized"? Dude? Did you try looking between the couch cushion first? Even at someone else's house, it's more dignified.

... I simply can't afford to waste money on races I can't hope to do well in this year

Do what I do: Redefine "do well" in such a way that doing crappily qualifies.

It works. Thus far, I have never been disappointed in myself.

Also? When I successfully use scissors without cutting myself? I get a gold star from me.

I'm working on the eating paste thing. If they didn't want me to eat it, why is it so tasty?

SteveQ said...

Yesterday, my friend Don suggested I do the national 100K championship the first weekend in April... yet another race to not do!

Shannon, if I do Trail Mix, pacing you for your last lap might (MIGHT) still be possible.

Matthew Patten said...

Sure you don't want to do another Matt vs. Steve battle at Zumbro?

I am trying to find ways to convince myself to do Zumbro.

Right now I am 50/50, and have the same odds to finish.