Well, I mentioned that Gary’s Tuesday Night Power Yoga Class was on my weekly training schedule. Gary mentioned in his last article what a big difference yoga made in his Catalina Marathon effort.
My Yoga is Everywhere
Last Tuesday’s Power Yoga Class was awesome and tough. The class consisted of a lot of upper body strength training, lower body flexibility and sweat. I was shaking during the abs section of class. All, important work for runners. If you want to get fast and strong, you gotta do the work.
SoCalRunning.com members Lani, Jim aka Uncle Sam, Jason, Mike, Mary and Steve got their yoga on.
Come join us next Tuesday Click Here for More Info
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Certified Hypnotherapist
Soaking in the Tranquility and Spirit of Yogananda’s Abode in Pacific Palisades, While Getting Ready for My Next Adventure
Let’s go back to December where I posted my race plans for the year My 2007 Preliminary Race Plans. I’ve got a lot of check marks to dole out and it is only March: Two marathons, one half marathon and a snowboarding trip. Actually, I am ahead of schedule.
So what’s next for this coach? Cycling! That’s right, time to focus on my cycling. I’ll still run about 20+ miles a week yet the weekend’s LSD (Long Slow Distance) workouts will be on the bike. During the year changing focus between sports you are interested in, helps keep your body fresher. I also think it can help you get faster.
So the Wild Flower Long Course triathlon is next on the schedule and it is an “A” race for me. Wild Flower, considered the Woodstock of triathlons is always the first weekend in May. I’ve been using this year’s marathon training to build a strong base for Wild Flower. In the meantime, I’ve registered with fellow SoCalRunning.com Andy to race in the Sea Otter bicycle road race in mid-April and I think I’ll add in a mountain bike race that weekend too.
Maybe You Can Guess Why I Like Training and Racing With Andy
I am sure the competition will be strong. At this point my goal is to race hard and see what happens. You never now how a bike road race will shake out. Will the peleton stay together or will some strong rider see if he can break-away and hold everyone off? It doesn’t matter to me because it is all prep for Wild Flower and I need the miles in the saddle.
I am also preparing for the Beach Runners’ Spring and Summer session. The program starts Saturday, May 19, and spaces are still available Click Here for More Info or to Register. If you want to run your first marathon or half marathon, join this great group. If you are looking for a new PR, with the help of ChiRunning and MaraYoga, we can help you do it.
I will continue taking Gary’s Tuesday Night Power Yoga Class. This is such a good workout and helps in every sport I do. Click Here to Join Us
Then comes summer and the focus becomes real fun training. Look out Mt. Baldy.
Just some thoughts during this recovery week.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – USA Cycling Coach
Runner’s World voted the race its favorite off-road marathon (the Catalina Marathon).
photo by Charles Neuman. To see the rest of his photos, please click on the link to the article below
Said a Runner’s World chat-room participant, “The views are so spectacular and the hills are so challenging, there were times that tears came to my eyes when I reached the top of a hill to see the amazing blue ocean.”
Another Catalina attraction? The sense of accomplishment.
“This pushes you to the edge,” said Pasadena’s Steve Mackel. “People coming for the first time or the 30th time, they’re hardcore.”
It is a well written article with cool pictures. Make sure you go all the way to the bottom to see all the pictures.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Beach Runners’ Head Coach
Funny enough Steve and I were getting depressed as soon as we were returning to Los Angeles after one of the funnest weekends in our lives taking 10 Beach Runners over to the Catalina Marathon. We’d given months of our life to make this goal happen, so now what?
In fact all week I’ve been anxious. And a little beat up after my race due to sore feet from the downhills. Nothing serious, just my feet got a little bruised. The anxiety comes more from this transition between training programs.
My body is a little confused as to what I should be doing. For the last 7 seven weeks, I have been training very hard for the Catalina Marathon. And now, my body is asking me, “What next?”
I spoke to many runners last night who seemed to be suffering from the post race blues.
Here’s what I like to do after finishing a marathon.
1. Take a break from running. The time period might vary, but I will not run for about two weeks after finishing a marathon. Especially a marathon I went all out on. Instead I am lifting weights, riding my bike, and doing yoga. My body needs a break . I coached someone last night to take a month off of any serious running.
It’s not only important to let the body rest from running but also to let the mind rest from running. It is very easy to get burned out from running. In ways, I believe that my strong performance in Catalina came from taking a break from running in January. So when I returned from vacation, I was excited to be running again.
The next Beach Runners session begins on May 19th, so that gives you a month break from running, and then maybe spend a few weeks doing FUN runs. Just don’t get all obsessive about running again unless you have some specific goals like an important race coming up.
2. Write down your upcoming race schedule. The Monday after the race I was on the Internet finding more races to run. More importantly, races TO TRAIN FOR. Marathon runners by their nature are problem solving type of people. We like complex difficult problems to figure out and solve like running 26.2 miles. So even if your next race will be completing the Long Beach Marathon with the Beach Runners 7 months from now, right it down, and begin thinking about what you can do to prepare. Do you need to visit a doctor? Work on your flexibility? Improve your diet? Get new running shoes?
I will list my race schedule the next few days.
3. Write down some running goals. That means a reasonable goal. Many runners try to set unrealistic goals for themselves, don’t accomplish them, then get discouraged about running/fitness. Danny Dreyer in his book, ChiRunning, makes the clear delineation between process oriented goals and product oriented goals. Take for example, you want to run a marathon under four hours? Why do you want to do this? Is it ego driven so you can say you ran under four hours? Have a clear reason in your mind for your goals.
Say your last marathon was 4:10. Now running under 4 hours would be a reasonable goal. But even then, better goals would be to improve your speed, through your form, or keeping a more consistent pace. These are more process oriented goals, something that you can work on every time you go out running.
In my opinion, making a time goal like sub four hours can drive your mind crazy as it is not something that you can practice in your runs.
My goal for Catalina was to be faster on the uphills and have better overall fitness. Well my power yoga gave me better overall fitness. And everytime I went out on the trails, I focused on my uphill form, swinging my arms, and breathing more. Consequently I got faster on my uphills. The results: I went from a 4:19 Catalina marathon last year to a 3:56 marathon this year. At no point, in my training was I thinking a sub four hour marathon. Isn’t that funny? I just stayed focus on the process.
4. Work on your hobbies or other things in your life. I have returned to my garden. Picked up my guitar. Tried finishing some books. I have even started Spring Cleaning. I’m doing anything to take my mind off of running right now. Writing this article even helps as by through the process of writing, I closing the training cycle in my mind.
Hope all that helps.
If nothing else, go for a walk or a rollar blade and watch the sun go down like I will with old friend this evening.
That will boost your spirits more than anything.
“It was a dream come true to finish this Catalina. I met new friends, and came to see why runners return to this marathon year after year. I will return next year and want to train some other runners to run it with me so we can go to the bars after the race and do some real celebrating. Wanna join me?”
Funny these things…when you write down your goals and your intentions and let the universe know about them…how they start to manifest.
Certainly the whole crew did quite a bit of celebrating after this race.
I was thinking about the importance of this this morning. That after completing something real difficult like a marathon…
It’s important to CELEBRATE.
Have a party. Have a drink or two. And go dancing. Beach Runners had their dancing shoes on at Chi Chi Club in Avalon Saturday night. It was a real blast.
Because celebration closes the circle of your journey. We’ve spent months together training. Got to know one another. Broke bread together. Ran together on our races. So to just get in your car after the race and go home doesn’t quite seem right. At least not for me. Humans need to celebrate. To sing, to dance, to eat together and share our joy at accomplishing our goals.
I’m looking forward to celebrating more with everyone this Saturday at the White House. Check your emails Beach Runners this week for directions to the party.
Blogged with Flock
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(First time marathoner Sindy powers her way to the finish.
Notice the smile.)
Tremendous Beach Runner success stories at Catalina Marathon.
Gary goes under 4 hours (3:56). WOW. 7th in Age Group (35-39), 2nd in The American Trail Championship for age (Buffalo Half Marathon and Catalina Marathon combined), 12th place OVERALL in trail championship, and has best race of life. “I trained hard for this race, and peaked at just the right time. The Power Yoga practice has made me much much stronger for races. ”
Steve makes remarkable comeback from back injury, does a 4:32, 7th in American Trail Championship (age group 40-44), and has best marathon of his life. Steve has his running mojo working again.
Doug and Mina come in with impressive times of 5:07, but more importantly, get engaged on the course at mile 23 Mina has a gorgeous ring which many runners got to enjoy the last the three miles. Our first Beach Runners engagement and we wish them the very best for their future.
Sandy finishes her first marathon ever with an impressive 5:16. Made huge strides in hill running, downhill running, and trail speed. Just ran her first half marathon this year so has a bright bright running future ahead.
SoCalRunning.com member Mark overcomes a rough start to finish with a 5:34. Already run three marathons this year including Miami, Los Angeles, and Catalina. Mark is like the energizer bunny.
Keith completes his 26th marathon with a strong comeback time of 5:35. First trail marathon. Keith had given up marathoning due to injuries but has returned in strong form with the help of ChiRunning and yoga.
Bill finishes with a 5:54 (Age group 60-64). Loved the course and views but got a little beaten up on the downhills. Still, I’m so impressed with guys his age running courses this hard. He said he would finish under 6 hours and thats what he did. Two watches help.
Sindy finishes her first marathon with a time of 6:12. Sindy had the support of her daughter and best friend at the finish. Sindy has been such a big believer in the Beach Runner training program, is so supportive of everyone, has so much youthful energy and passion for yoga and running. We love you so much Sindy.
Long time Beach Runner Rubi has a smile across her face loving the course, the training, the coaching, everything with a time of 6:17. Rubi always has the best attitude and smile every time I speak to her about running. She has now completed four marathons.
A.J comes strong to the finish line with a 7:19. Got to really talk to A.J. for the first time and adored your humor, your toughness, and determination. You ran that last mile with amazing gusto.
I want to congratulate Kristin for reaching the podium on the 10K. Thanks to Loni, John, Dave, Caroline, Laura for coming out to do the 10K and support us. It made a big difference for us out on the course.
Thank you Beach Runners for making this weekend one of the best times of my life. I’m so proud of all of you. This was a true pleasure to coach you on the trails of Palos Verdes/San Pedro in our training. Thanks for believing in yourselves enough to sign up for this difficult marathon. Now you’ve done it, you see why we were so excited about this race. I think this marathon was a life changing experience for you like it was for me last year.
The best part of the marathon was making a whole weekend of it. Like hanging out with everyone the night before, watching everyone cross the finish line, celebrating at our house, celebrating out on the town, going dancing. We did a lot. That was so much fun.
Catalina might be the best marathon and certainly one of the toughest in the United States. To finish that marathon was quite the accomplishment. I’m so proud of everyone.
Now you see why Steve and I love doing this type of race.
“Hard Races in Beautiful places.” We want to make this our race philosophy.
I’ll post my full race report up later this week. Sorry but no Runcast from me about the marathon. I was in full race mode that day. So didn’t have the time to mess around with a camera. I was aiming for a fast time, which I did accomplish…to finish under four hours at Catalina is a gratifying running accomplishment. I’m proud of myself for taking this race so seriously.
Steve is busy editing his first RunCast. So you will all see the first Steve Mackel RunCast in the next few days. We’re hoping for many other run reports from everyone that ran.
So check back the next few days. For more good Catalina reports, pictures, movies…
you know how we roll around here.
Time to get prepared before the night before. If you need anything it is probably for sale at the marathon expo. Go down the checklist and see what you need.
- Running Shorts
- Beach Runner Shirt or your favorite running shirt, SoCalRunning.com shirts coming soon
- Race Chip
- Race Number
- Body Glide or anti-chafing and blister protection
- Sunscreen already applied
- Fuel – Gels, Bars and/or other food
- Any other running gear – knee wraps, patella straps etc…
- Throw Away Pre-Race Clothes
- Money at least $40
- Metronome (optional)
- Sunglasses (optional)
- Gloves (optional)
- Visor or Hat (optional)
- Hydration System (optional)
- Race Number Belt (optional)
- Rain Poncho (optional) It can keep you warm too
- Mini Medical Kit: Band-Aids, Advil, Salt Tablets or Enuralytes (optional)
- Camera (optional)
After you have gone through all you stuff and checked it off the list and made a list of what you want to get, you are set.
In the early hours of the morning before a race starts it is typically cold. Another good idea is to wear some “Throw Away” clothes. Jim, aka Uncle Sam, goes to a thrift shop and picks up some sweats for a couple bucks then tosses them off out on the course when he has warmed up. Stay warm before the race.
Here’s my race day gear story. A learning experience from my first marathon, yes, it is a memorable day yet carrying a bunch of stuff around for 26.2 miles can suck. My first marathon I had a hiking waist belt. I called it my Batman Utility Belt. In it I had Power Bars, camera, cell phone, bandages, gels, money and in a separate section it had a water bottle holder, to hold one the size that fits on a bike. All that added up to one heavy belt. On top of that it was not a tight fitting belt like a Fuel Belt (that I use now).
By mile 16 my hips were raw from that belt bouncing around. Thank God for my friend Jason, who met me at mile 16 to run with me. He asked if I needed anything and I said, “Please just take this belt.” He said yes and within moments I felt 100 pounds lighter. It was as if a cross was lifted off my back. I am still thankful for his help that day.
The moral of the story is less is more. The LA Marathon has well-placed water stations so I will probably only carry two water bottles. I load the pack pocket with $40 and food. I will also put some more food in the other two water bottle spaces. I’ll have a camera so I can take some picture of all you. Since I am not running the entire marathon, I’ll pack some emergency items in case I run into you can you need some help. It is a good thing I grew up in the Boy Scouts because it reminds me of their motto, “Be Prepared” and go lite if possible.
Train Focused, Steve Mackel, USA Cycling Coach
This April 28th and 29th, I’ll be running the self proclaimed “Ultimate Two-Day Road Trip.” Won’t you join me?
Wild Miles Team Realy Race is a 30 leg, 183 miles race that starts in Temecula and weaves it’s way over the river and through the woods to Del Mar. Note: The river is a metaphor. I don’t think we cross an actual river. There will be plenty of woods to tide you over though.
They’ll be plenty of obstacles on the course, but my team has hit one bump already. We’re short runners. That’s where you come in. I can’t read minds, so I can’t tell you why Wild Miles would be fun for you. However, I can tell you why I’m looking forward to Wild Miles. Perhaps someone who reads this will be on the same wavelength and we’ll make some awesome memories together.
Without further ado, Aimee’s list of Reasons to Run Wild Miles.
1) It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. I’ve tackled the 5K, the 10K, the half marathon and the marathon. What’s next? Ultra marathons? Perhaps. But I crave something with a little more flavor, a little more variety. How about a long distance relay? Wild Miles. That’s the ticket.
2) I love the Amazing Race. True, it’s not a race around the world and Phil won’t be there to hug me when my team gets to the finish line, but Wild Miles is sure to be an Amazing Race. I’ll get to work as part of a team to accomplish a task. I’ll have to navigate through unfamiliar roads. I’ll be in close proximity to my teammates for long periods of time. I get to wear head lamps when I run at night. Head lamps! I can’t tell you how excited I am for that part.
3) It’ll makes my parents nervous. Re-enactment of my phone call home to my parents after I told them I signed up for Wild Miles:
Aimee: “Hey Mom! I signed up for this new race with a bunch of guys I don’t know.”
Mom: “Guys you don’t know? I don’t know if I like the sound of that.”
Aimee: “Don’t worry mom, we’ll be safe. They’re picking me up in a van. Aren’t van’s cool?”
Mom: “Uh huh. Where are they taking you?”
Aimee: “I’m not really sure, somewhere in the middle of the desert.”
Mom: “Why do you do this to me?”
Aimee: “Because I love you.”
Awww! That could be the conversation you have with your mother, father, significant other or child. Making people nervous with your adventures is fun.
4) I’ll get to meet new people who are just as crazy about running as I am. Though I love running, my favorite part of a race is often the people you meet on the course. I love sitting and talking to folks before the start of the race. I’m fascinated by the diversity of runners. They can be all races, religions, shapes and sizes. They can be grandmothers, cancer survivors or Elvis impersonators. During the race I’m normally to busy concentrating on my breathing to say much. That’s where Wild Miles is different. During Wild Miles, I’ve got time spent running with partners and driving in the van. Plenty of time to get to know these other great people who I’m running with.
5) It’ll open the door to other fun runs. I view Wild Miles as a threshold to more adventure races. So far, I’ve stuck with traditional road races, but there’s a whole big world out there to explore. There’s Relay Races, Mud Races, Treasure Hunt Races, etc. Wild Miles is just the tip of the iceberg. Completing Wild Miles will open the door to other races I’d never considered before.
Is you’re mouth watering yet? I hope so. I don’t think I’ve written a persuasive essay. I’m a little rusty, but trust me when I say that it will be a great time with last memories.
If you are interested, please Email Aimee
If not, enjoy your running wherever it takes you!
Aimee – SoCalRunning.com Member