Archive for July 2016

I’m back! Some random thoughts my plans for fall races. Including the 24 hour Lemming Loop

Hi! Long time no post!

I am going to start to post more regularly again – I promise!

As a bit of a catch up post I wanted to do a bit of a write up of the races I have signed up to run in the fall and go through what my mental process was for those decisions.

So I haven’t run a race since Fargo Marathon back in May. I normally do the Manitoba Marathon on Father’s day but the timing didn’t work this year due to family commitments. From what I have heard from those that ran this year, it was brutal with the heat and humidity. That is one thing I have found for the Manitoba Marathon – it seems to be either really hot and humid or rainy and cold – never seems to be the best running weather.

Since Fargo my running has been fairly light but I have been slowly rebuilding over the last while and hope to be ready for some decent fall races. That then gives me a head start on my training for my 6th Goofy Challenge in January.

In ages past, I have taken it easy for the summer after the Manitoba Marathon and then started training for the Goofy Challenge in September but I found that I much preferred to try to stay in shape with fall races to make the Goofy Challenge training (and races) easier to handle.

With that in mind I decided to look at the various races that are fairly local in the fall and see what would work for me and my schedule. Some of the races that came up:

  1. Treherne Marathon – September 11th – this one is about an hour drive from home on mostly farm roads with some rolling hills. I haven’t done this race before but I know others who have and enjoyed it.
  2. Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon – September 18th – I have run this one before a couple times and it is a nice course. It goes through areas of town that other races in Winnipeg don’t go through and it is pretty scenic.
  3. Grand Forks Marathon – September 24th – about an hour and half drive from home. It is an inaugural race which would be interesting. But would require overnighting out of town.
  4. Lemming Loop – Sept 30th / Oct 1st – 24/12/6/3 hour options. I have done the 12 hour race twice, once just missing 50 miles and once going just over 50 miles. Both those times were on a different course than it is going to be on this year. The race used to always be done at Beaudry Park just outside the city but for a couple years it was in a park in the city due to flooding issues at the original venue. But now they are moving back to the original venue that is rougher and longer (loops are about double the length).
  5. Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services Half marathon (WFPS) – Oct 16th – a good race that I have done several times.

Some thoughts that go through my head when I look at that list:

  1. I need a good proof of time by October 4th to send to runDisney for corral placement for the Goofy Challenge in January. My more recent races have not been particularly quick so I would like a quicker time to submit. And I will need a time from a half or a full for that. Fort Garry Rotary Half would be good…if I’m not too burnt by running a full the week before.
  2. The inaugural Grand Forks Marathon would be cool but it would require a hotel stay…but…if I did it and the Lemming Loop the next week, it would let me qualify for Marathon Maniacs which I missed out on with the blown 50k at Spruce Woods back in the spring.
  3. Treherne Marathon could also be used for Marathon Maniacs with the Grand Forks Marathon and it would probably be a less painful way to get that qualification than doing a marathon one week and an ultra the next…But if Grand Forks is out due to travel and I am looking at Fort Garry Rotary Half for a good race time then I would just be doing Treherne Marathon to add another number to the Marathon tally.
  4. Lemming Loop…ahh the Lemming Loop – I am so drawn by the 24 hour race just to see what a really long ultra would be like in a relatively safe environment where say I couldn’t walk off a cliff in a stupor. The other side of this is that I wouldn’t want to do less than my last 12 hour Lemming Loop and with the more difficult terrain, if I do the 12 hour again that would be a distinct possibility. Maybe I could do the 24 hour and plan for naps? Just do anything to make sure I am over 50 miles? Hmmm….On the other hand I don’t want to do this and blow it like I did the 50k at Sprucewoods Ultra.
  5. WFPS half – I will most likely do this one – it is a bit of a tradition at this point and it is the last race of the season here so it is a good test as I head into the last 2 months of Goofy Challenge training

So as I was going through all of those thoughts and worries and realized that I have a family wedding to go to out of town on September 24th. So doing Grand Forks Marathon would require me to finish very quickly, get cleaned up, drive home (crossing the US/Canada border in the process), get home and grab the family and drive 2 hours to the wedding. And then would change at the wedding probably? Timing would have to be perfect to make that happen and nothing lately says my marathon time would be good enough to give me much breathing room.

Well – Grand Forks is out and with it that means that Marathon Maniacs won’t happen either as the Treherne Marathon and the Lemming Loop are too far apart to meet the requirements. And that means Treherne is probably out too if I want to make sure I have speed in my legs for the Fort Garry Rotary half the next week for race timing.

That leaves Lemming Loop. What to do there? How different is the terrain at the venue versus where I have run it before?

To help answer that question I headed out to the park late one Friday morning and did 3 loops around (about 10.5 miles) to see what it was like and to get familiar with the terrain. And that all worked pretty well besides not putting on enough bug spray the first loop.

So that means I can do Lemming Loop and survive but my speed showed that 50 miles in 12 hours at my current conditioning level might be unlikely. With about 9-10 weeks to train it could happen but it is a risk….OK 24 hours it is and I will plan naps. I will do another post eventually discussing what kind of mileage I will be shooting for but basically 52.4 miles (double marathon) with an extreme stretch goal of 78.6 miles (triple marathon). A miracle will have to happen to get that stretch goal though…but maybe I could hit 100k? Really though I need to make sure to get past 50k to rebuild my ego after Sprucewoods.

Now at the time of this writing I have signed up for the Fort Garry Rotary half with my wife (who is looking for times for corral placement for the Glass Slipper Challenge in February) and the 24 hour Lemming Loop. I will sign up for the WFPS Half marathon as well but I am going to wait until I see how Lemming Loop training damages me.

I might also sign up for the Treherne Marathon and use it as a training run for the Lemming Loop but it would be more efficient to do a long run near home, so we will see on that one.

I am going to cut this post at this point and I should be back with more posts in the next few days on things like my Lemming Loop training and gear plans.

Thanks for reading!