Friday, January 24, 2014

Taper Fun…..random thoughts……

It is a little over a week from the Surf City Marathon and I am as ready as I will ever be.  I have been in week two of the taper with a focus on dropping volume and increasing intensity.  If I could sustain this week’s pace (8:55 per mile) for the marathon I would be thrilled; however, I am a realist.  My PR in a road marathon is 4:42 which is a more respectable 10:46 pace and my final long run I was able to sustain a 10:32 pace.  If I can sustain that pace, I should finish in 4:35….a stone throw from my true goal 4:30.
Getting Mental Prepared
I find that there are certain things that have helped me get ready for any marathon or greater race mentally.  I like to get one new item for the race.  This time around I will be working with new socks. Ok, I know what you are thinking; however, I normally run with Champion socks I get from Target. 
However, last weekend we took the kids to John Muir Beach which gave me the perfect excuse to stop by the San Francisco RunningCompany.  The main purpose was to find out if they carry any FRS shots (looks like they have been discontinued – thanks Lance!); however, I was met by Jorge Maravilla one week after his win at the Bandera 100K (which I didn’t know until after).  I was able to ask about socks since I typically have problems with my Morton’s toe and the rubbing that normally occurs.  He directed me to the Injinji  2.0 mid-weight running toe sock

 I have heard a lot about these socks from the podcast and thought about trying them; however, have shied away from them.  However, with Way Too Cool following closely behind Surf City, I felt the time was right to try something out.  I have been running in them this week and so far so good, I love these socks.  I will post a review soon.
What I love about the San Francisco Running Company is the number of experienced ultra-runners there are that work there and there openness to talk shop.  I have been to other running stores and have gotten some poor running advice or the crazy look when I say I like to run longer distances. But just as it is common in the trail running community, everyone is there to support everyone, so it is easy to talk with even an elite runner in his shop without getting too star struck.
 So part two of my discussion with him focused on nutrition where I quickly found out that this is an area that he has struggled with in the past also but surprisingly is not on any crazy specific diet – only quality calories.  Simple but true.
The third stop, and again this kind of helps in the preparing mentally section, was to the M.H. Bread and Butter Cafe in San Anselmo for a wonderful loaf of bread.  This café is run by both Nathan and Devon Yanko who are ultra-runners themselves. In fact Devon has won the San Francisco Marathon a few times as well as was an Olympic Trials qualifier at the last Olympics.  I will have to say the baked goods here are the best in the Bay Area!  Our son Myles got a slice of carrot cake this time and with help from mom and dad quickly devoured it.  I also purchased a large country style loaf to eat over this week.  So yes, buying a loaf of bread to help with my carb loading has definitely help mentally prepare for Surf City.
Finally, I have been reviewing and going over mentally this race.  The great news is that I have run most of it as the half marathon.  I do have some question marks, especially from mile 3 to mile 8 which drops into what looks like a pit.  We will drive this section the day before after we stop by the expo.  I am pretty excited though.  Mile 2 to 3 is up hill so it should help temper me from going out too fast and knowing that I have to do it again at mile 8 going in the opposite direction should set up for negative splits, that is if I can keep a reasonable pace.
All in all, this has stacked up to be a good training session.  The only soreness is my Achilles, but that hasn’t stopped me slowing down.  I am excited to run!
Way Too Cool 50K 5 weeks later
So with all the focus on the imminent marathon, I am not forgetting Way Too Cool five weeks later.   In fact I was able to get a good training schedule from the Hal Higdon site that I will modify for my needs.  My main concern was the week directly after Surf City and not losing my endurance in recovery.  I am modifying the 4 week schedule with the 6 week schedule which allows for a good recovery, a nice build and even a taper for the 5 weeks.
Doing this research lead me to the Marathon Maniacs website.  I have heard a lot about this group over the years, and is definitely promoted on the Marathon Training Academy podcast; however, I never realized that the group is based in my old home town of Tacoma.  In fact, it is one block away from my old middle school.  What is even more exciting is that I would be able to qualify to be a Marathon Maniac if I am able to complete both Way Too Cool and the Diablo Challenge 50K 8 weeks later. The bronze level membership requires three events 26.2  miles or greater in under 90 days.  My three events will be completed in 78 days!
Really this is stacking up to be a great year of running.  Now queue the Beach Boys……I am ready to run Surf City, USA.


  1. It's going to be fun following you on Sunday! I love how prepared and trained you are for this race. And I agree about SFRC - there's nothing like having real ultra runners to talk to about these sorts of things. (We have Zombie Runner, which is very similar and just as useful.) And it would be great to welcome you as a Marathon Maniac! I got in on the bronze level a couple of years ago, but have not managed to move up from that, which I'm OK with. Have a great Marathon and we will see you at Way Too Cool (if all goes well). And Diablo.

    1. Thanks Allen for the encouragement! This is definitely going to be a fun race and I am already excited now for Way Too Cool also! Thanks again.

  2. Congrats on getting that race done! Not as fast as you hoped, but really impressive none-the-less. I can't wait to hear the details!

  3. Thanks Allen! It was a tough last 10 with mile 19 being a bear but I gotter done. I will have a recap up soon.


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