Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Way Too Cool Race to Pass Up

Love this picture...sorry to reuse!
A few posts back I mentioned that I had began training for the Surf City Marathon.  I laid out my schedule leading up to the race with the focus of getting a PR at the marathon.  Keep in mind, a PR is breaking 4:42 which is totally doable. The training has been going well so far, with only a couple of sniffles and a couple of off weeks.

I have adjusted my long run to two runs on Sunday, one in the morning and the second half in the afternoon primarily consisting of trails (I will get to why in a moment). I am getting a lot of road work though, primarily during the week in the city and finally have seen my pace coming down.  

What is interesting though, as my wife pointed out on a run from a year ago, I am no where able to run a  sustained 5 mile run at an 8 minute pace.  I believe it is all tied to the calf and Achilles issues I have had through the year, besides the extra 10 pounds. I may be dreaming, but I am hoping to get this back down to at least a 8:30 half marathon pace before February 2nd.

Now with the primary focus being Surf City, my wife and I have been eying the Way Too Cool 50K on March 8th for a while now.  To get in you have to get selected by lottery.  I kind of figured one of us would be selected (pretty much hoping it would be my wife, not I) so we put our names in the bucket.  Well we both got selected.  

So now I have a 50K with almost 5K feet in elevation scheduled one month after my very flat road marathon. That, combined with my desire to run the Mount Diablo Challenge 50K on April 19th, means that I should have three big runs right out the gate.  Thus why I am opting to have my longer runs occur on the trails with elevation.

Case in point, last Sunday I woke up for a wonderful run up on Lime Ridge.  It was 35 degrees when I started and the run went on without a hitch.  I covered 1,800 feet of elevation gain in that 10.3 mile run with some pretty steep descents.  I followed that run up latter that afternoon with an a tough 9.5 mile run with 1,900 feet of elevation gain including my favorite steep hill out of Castle Rock.  Both of these runs saw huge performance gains since I had run them before and there was no lingering pain or DOMS after.

I have continue to suffer from the Achilles bursitis, mainly though on my road runs.  It only affects the first 0.25 mile before the pain subsides  then returns latter in the evening.  However, when I run the trails the pain isn't there and no lingering pain later in the evening.

Hopefully will be running the 50K instead of pacing duties.
All said, the way I am approaching my training now is to focus on Surf City first, get the miles in and improve my pace.  While I am doing a lot of hill running, which isn't a direct factor in this race, it will help with my hamstring strength and speed.  I will take the week after the marathon easy but will keep my long run in.  I will include a bit of a taper in 2 weeks from Way Too Cool, reducing volume and increasing intensity.  Then I have seven weeks to the Diablo Challenge.  I am building my elevation and since each of these races increase in mileage I should be fine.

Now, past Diablo I am hoping our schedule allows for the Dirty Dozen 12 Hour Endurance Run with the goal of reaching my first 50 miles and then to do North Face 50K in December.  The last time I had this aggressive of a schedule (for me) was when we did 4 marathons in one year.  So if I can stay smart and injury free this should be a great year!


  1. It's the "staying smart" part that will getcha! Keep an eye on that.

  2. Yep always trying to stay smart....what do I tell the kids, don't

  3. I think it's great you both got in to Way too Cool - you will love it! (And I would opt for the early start - it makes that first 8-mile loop much easier with WAY less traffic.) 50 miles at Dirty Dozen should be well within reach - it's certainly what I'm gunning for. North Face 50K is tough - I don't know if I want to consider that yet. Yikes!

  4. Thanks Allen for the encouragement....and North Face 50K... you can do it!


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