Saturday, July 04, 2009

Ready to run the Streets of San Francisco

Legendary actor Karl Malden died this past week and was perhaps best known for his work in the classic TV series The Streets of San Francisco. Recounts in the news of Malden's role with Michael Douglas chasing bad guys reminded me that I am bracing for my own experience in the Streets of San Francisco.

I've received a number of comments warning me to lower expectations on my finish time due to the difficulty of the course in San Fran. It's not lost on me that the elevation change in San Fran is pretty significant -- even greater than that of Boston.

This is my first try training for a summer marathon. It's going reasonably well, I must say. My most successful training run was my 20-miler of two weeks ago, which was run entirely on a treadmill. I ran much of the pace mileage at 4-7% incline. I ran the entire workout in 2:19 and finished extremely strong at the end. It was a true progression with over 15 miles at race pace through significant incline intervals.

Today, I capped off a 70-mile week with a pretty strong 21-miler - albeit not as intense as the one from two weeks ago. I did this run at the I&M Canal with running partners Nate and Dave. Nate and cruised the final five miles of the 21 in 34:10. Now, granted, this path is pancake flat.

I know the hills will be daunting, so I recognize it's a stretch to aim for a PR. Nevertheless, I will go out there and give it my best and try to run 3:00 pace and see what happens. If I decide to back off to the 3:02-3:05 range, so be it. I'm confident that I am in pretty good shape to run my third strong marathon of 2009.

Bring on the taper... three weeks to go.


jen said...

SF is a hilly course, but if anyone can set a PR there it is YOU. Rest up! :)

Darrell said...

Attack the uphills and take full advantage of the downhills, you'll be great.

I'm running the first half over the Golden Gate Bridge.

monicac2 said...

Good for you; I love your confidence!

smitty said...

It's not about lower expectations, it's about realistic ones. Having good long runs is great, but not a marathon predictor unless you are following McMillan and finishing the last 4 miles at 10k pace. If you want to run a much hillier course at a faster pace you need to demonstrate you are faster, i.e. Your 5k - 1/2 marathon times in a real race should predict significantly faster times. It's great to be confident but are you confident you can run a 2:55 on a flat course? If not, why be confident you can run a course with 1/3rd more incline than boston faster than Boston?

randomrunner said...

Great attitude! Hopefully you get the chance to drive the course the day before so you know where you have to push vs where you can coast. Good luck out there!

ultrarunner99 said...

Dude, smitty needs to chill out! Go for the PR man! You can nail those hills!!!