Superior 25K Goals

Hah, it’s less than 12 hours til race time and I’m finally getting around to planning my goals for this race. What does it really matter, though? They’re really more like predictions. I’ll run the best that I can.

I spent the afternoon checking out the competition handing out race t-shirts to runners checking in. It was a nice way to feel more part of the action and certainly beat sitting around in my condo at Lutsen Resort.

Oh, by the way, this place is unreal.

I am slightly annoyed I didn’t call the resort that serves as the start/finish of the race when I was making reservations, since apparently they did have rooms available. However, I was rewarded by being just a short walk from Lake Superior. I didn’t run today, but I did take a very short evening hike down by the shore and along the Poplar River near the resort. I am so very excited to get out on the trails and see what other wonders I may find.

Oh, yes, goals.

A Standard: 3:59:59
B Standard: 4:15:00

4:15 (16:46 pace) puts me just ~0:10/mile faster than Zumbro, and sub-4 (15:47 pace) just seems like something nice to shoot for. Seven months ago, I was shooting for sub-4 in the Harder’n Hell Half, and now I’m shooting for sub-4 in a two mile longer race. I think that would show great progress. I will just be happy with showing a pace improvement over Zumbro, when I was sick and it was cold. I need to be cognizant that the pace on my watch will not be accurate, since my GPS has consistently measured longer than the race distance.

The net elevation change in this race is a lot lower than Zumbro (2300 vs 6200ft net change), and reports from the RD and trail marking crew indicate good trail conditions. This is fantastic news. The weather should be good, possibly on the warm side, but I’m not going to whine about that. It isn’t going to be, like, 85 or anything awful. Still, the sooner I finish, the better, so that I don’t end up with a terrible sunburn.

It appears there are 5 climbs in the race, fairly evenly staggered throughout the race. The worst climb is right after the turnaround (or so the elevation chart would have me believe), so I’ll need to be ready for that. The first climb doesn’t look that pleasant, either, but I’m a good climber. Slow and steady. Unfortunately, the elevation chart isn’t as detailed as the one for Zumbro, so I do not know the approximate mile points where they occur. The only actual reference point I have for mileage is the aid station at Oberg Mountain, the turnaround point. I guess to be under 4 hours, I will want to be there by 10:00, and to be under 4:15, I’ll need to be there by 10:07. I figure since I’ll have already gone through 3 climbs at that point, I’ll be in good shape to turn and burn at the aid station. I plan to refill my water bottle there and maybe peruse some snacks, I don’t know. I like to get in and out.

The usual non-running goals apply: I don’t want to puke, become incontinent, pass out, or otherwise have a medical emergency. I need to warm up before this race, since I always say I will and then don’t, and I will start at the back of the pack as I always do, and run my own race. Here’s hoping I am not trampled by too many runners on their way back while I’m still heading out. I have not done an out-and-back race like this before, so it could be interesting.

I’m going to prep my water bottles and baggies and then head to bed. If I can get better sleep than I did for Zumbro, I should be in good shape!

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