Monday, September 3, 2012

CIM Training Week Two and Footfeathers Clinics

Tennessee Valley, photo courtesy of Margaret Gagnon
Week two of marathon training is in the books, and my fall racing schedule is getting into full swing. Last week's scheduled runs went out the window due to, well, life, but I feel like it was good training none-the-less. I had two short runs planned for Tuesday and Thursday, but neither happened. Six miles Monday, seven miles Thursday went well, but a long run of 13 miles planned for Saturday failed to fully manifest.

Jesse, me, Tim and Kara overlooking the Tiburon Peninsula,
photo courtesy of Christopher Himmel
Twirly hopped on a friend's boat to help crew a sail from Alameda to Half Moon Bay early Saturday morning, so after I dropped her off at the marina, I headed to Rodeo Beach in the Marin Headlands for the first of two weekend running clinics hosted by Tim Long, of Footfeathers Coaching. I had attended one of Tim's hill running clinics over the summer and felt that the tools he provided were paying off during training and racing, plus he's a really nice guy and we have some common interests besides running (beer and food). Saturday's clinic was Race Planning and Preparation. He had some help from Kara Teklinski presenting the material, covering a bunch of topics: studying the course, race logistics, crew/pacers, race reports, travel and tapering. He handed out samples of the very tasty Vi Fuel energy gels, a new sponsor for Tim, and after the clinic the group headed out for a run. Some turned back early, but four of us ended up doing a conversationally comfortable ten mile loop and about 2000 feet of elevation before heading for some seafood and ridiculously large beers served in quart mason jars at fish. in Sausalito.
Race Planning Clinic, photo courtesy of Margaret Gagnon
I am considering hiring Tim as a coach after the marathon, as I begin training for the American River 50 Mile in April. I have always enjoyed planning my own training, but as I make the transition to longer races, I feel like some guidance will keep me on track and provide some accountability in my training. However, at the conclusion of our ten mile run, I wanted to get the other three in to complete my 13 miles I had planned. That's when Tim the "enabler" showed his stripes as he told me and Kara (who he already coaches) we could just "make them up tomorrow". So much for accountability. It did show his flexibility, of course, and it also got us to the restaurant and giant beers faster!

Masochists, each and every one, photo courtesy of Margaret Gagnon
Sunday morning's Hill Running clinic was in Tennessee Valley, also in the headlands just north of Rodeo. Tim had originally planned to hold the clinic on the Coastal Trail as it climbed out of the valley towards Pirate's Cove, arguably the prettiest trail in the headlands. Kara and I were part of a group who left the parking lot a few minutes behind the large group Tim led down the valley, and after we were separated, there was some confusion about where Tim took the group. While I had planned to tack on the 8 miles I had omitted for the week, I had not planned to run 5 miles up the wrong trail while missing the first half of the clinic, but that is indeed how it played out.
Me on the left, Chris Wehan (4th place Miwok 100K) on the right,
photo courtesy of Margaret Gagnon
All was not lost, as I won an American River 50 Mile Endurance Run Patagonia tech tee from Norcal Ultras in the raffle at the conclusion of the clinic. That makes two raffles in a row where I have won AR50 gear. I feel the running gods are calling me to this race. Still seven months away, I have a lot to focus on before then.

After the clinic, I packed up the Tacoma and drove south to the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club to meet up with Twirly and the rest of her crew for the annual Labor Day party. This morning I got an easy six in along the beach in a dense fog. Coastal California running has so many faces; I truly love the diversity available within an hour of where we have Kuani moored. I really feel blessed.

Next weekend is the Run for Hunger 10K in Nevada City. A Gold Country Grand Prix race benefiting the local food bank. The following week is the Giant's Half Marathon, which finishes on the field at AT&T Park. I have been planning to use the Giant's race as a training run, but Twirly and I have been invited to crew aboard another friend's sailboat for the following week. We'll be scuba diving most days, and I am not sure how much of my training schedule will be practical. After speaking with Tim, I am leaning towards racing the half marathon, and then using the week spent sailing to rest, with a few progression runs when possible, and of course, getting that long run in (which will be 16 miles that week). I'm excited about the whole trip, but the idea of a 16 miler on Catalina Island has got me looking for just the right route.

The month finishes with another Grand Prix race, the Cystic Fibrosis 5K, and then the Bizz Johnson 50K is the weekend following. Four races in five weeks with a week of diving and sailing thrown in for good measure. Some say I'm living the dream, but I say I'm simply living the life my dreams have chosen for me.

Some Garmin data for the curious:

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