Monday, March 25, 2013

Support Comes in Twos: Saucony and ProCompression

This week I want to take a moment to thank two new sponsors I've been able to add to "Team Marco" this year. I like to think of sponsors as key ingredients in the support network almost every runner has to invariably create to successfully compete post-collegiately. 

Whether you train your butt off to make an Olympic team or just to shave a few more seconds off that personal best - having someone outside your little support group give you the nod means a lot. So, on that note, thank you to Saucony and ProCompression for the support this year. 

I'm pleased to be representing another local San Diego company in ProCompression. There are a lot of compression sock companies out there but I believe this has to be one of the better ones. They have a simple and comfortable compression sock (in tons of colors!) but it gets the job done in both recovery and competition. 

The Saucony Hurricane Program offers great support and an opportunity to take part in Saucony events regionally. I'm excited to get to know the regional reps and compete for an organization that has an eye out for the running community at large. 

I've only been out of college going on three years but it has become apparent that finding your support (#FindYourStrong) year in and year out to continue training is so important. It's tough for sure, but with a positive attitude and friendly spirit you will be surprised at whom you find are willing to help. 

I'm going to close up with my tentative racing schedule for this spring and summer. Maybe you'll be at a few meets on this list! 

April 7 - Carlsbad 5k - Open Division
April 13 - Pomona-Pitzer Invite - 1500 
April 18-20 - Mt. SAC - 1500 
April 28 - Payton Jordan - 1500 or 5k 
May 4 - Oxy Invite - 1500 or 5k 
May 19 - Bay to Breakers 12k  
June 1 - Jim Bush Invite - 800 or 1500 
June 2 - State Street Mile 
June 5 - Summer Nights Series - Mile 
June 19 - Summer Nights Series - 800 
June 22 - Bonita 5k 
June 26 - Summer Night Series - 1k 
July 4 - Alliant Energy 8k 

This makes for a long racing season and there will definitely have to be some adjustments in there to maintain fitness over the several months of racing. However, I've set myself up well early and look forward to mixing and matching these racing opportunities. I'm putting myself a little out of my element but I like that challenge. 

Once again, thanks Saucony and ProCompression! Thanks for reading! 

- Who can you inspire? 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Time for Firsts: SD Half Marathon

I've been MIA with my last two blog posts but I have good excuses, I promise. I'm sure you want interesting and engaging posts and I've been kept busy the past two weeks with school work, seminars, coaching, and training! That means my brain is brimming with tons of inspired thought (at least I hope!).

Since my graduate work has begun most Sunday evenings I'm left spent from absorbing that week's material. I've been amazed week in and week out at the unique characteristics of the human body - simply amazing (and intricate)! If you don't believe me just glance over this webpage on the shoulder complex for a few minutes. 

I capped off this week in style I think by competing in my first half-marathon! This time last year I hadn't really started "training", I was running, but not really training, because of the pain I had in my lower back still. Well, I've come a long way - not perfect - but way better. In this year's goal setting session with Natasha I had written down I wanted to be able to run a solid half-marathon. The stipulation being that I had to complete a block of uninterrupted training of at least 70 mpw with a threshold run of up to 6 miles and aerobic threshold (marathon pace) run of up to 10 miles. These weren't accomplished all in one week mind you, just consistently scattered throughout. 

Turns out I was able to do all of the above and I "treated" myself to this week's San Diego Half Marathon. Before I continue, I highly recommend this half if you are looking for a scenic, flat (relatively speaking), and well run race. Check out the course map, be wary of the Washington Street hill (200+ ft over 1.5 miles), but also make note of the significant downhill from mile 10 to the finish. 

In summary, the day turned out to be perfect with starting temp in the 50s. I took second overall and had a blast being able to enjoy running through the streets of my hometown (results here). I even passed within 100m of my apartment during the race! I don't have plans to run another half this year, but things might change as the fall rolls around. 

I'm so happy to have Chocolate GenUCAN! 
With this race capping my conditioning period I'm looking forward to making another transition in training and competing on the track a few times this spring. I've had plans to compete in the 800 and 1500 on the track and a road 5k here or there through June. I'm feeling confident again and enjoying the process of training and racing. 

I'll close this week's blog with my moment of the week. Yep, it's not my half-marathon. As you might know, I help run a small nonprofit called 2nd Recess that works with youth to expose them to fun and fitness through running and track & field. Well, this week we had Olympian and too-many-to-count national champion race-walker Tim Seaman come out and visit our group. He, his wife, and one of his athletes took our 30+ kids through race-walking drills and games. They had a blast! It's hard to describe the feeling I get when practice is over and you know in your gut that somehow you have made a small difference in a young person's life. That's true inspiration. Here are a few photos and video from our 2nd Recess session, enjoy! 

The 2nd Recessers after mastering race-walking! 

Here, the 2nd Recessers are learning a race-walking drill. Basics first! You can hear Paul Greer of the San Diego Track Club in the background coaching the Rockin' N' Runnin' training group prepping for June's Rock & Roll marathon.

Who can you inspire? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

This Week in Photos (Birthday Week)

Another pretty busy week! It was my birthday, hooray for 25! More school (loving every minute of it!) And of course, Valentine's Day! Instead of writing a post I thought I could express my wonderful week in pictures: 

Jim Ryun inspires by visiting 2nd Recess! It was his first time back to Balboa Stadium since breaking 4 minutes for the mile as a high schooler!

2nd Recess: Close to 30 kids and going strong! Learning a few hip drills, fire hydrants are always a hit!

Best girl a guy could have - Tash always gives the best cards! (Notice the alligator with a party hat :)
Birthday Part 2: Solid session at UCSD track, a couple 300s paired with a short LT run on the grass. Perfect way to start the day!

Pic of the Week: A sneak peek of our engagement photos. Weathering a quick SD storm was well worth the cool shots we got!
Lastly, I ran in the Coronado Valentine's 10k this morning as a rust buster after 3 monthsof solid training (results here). Came in 4th overall and ran 31:27. Not bad in my book. Better than in late fall and a whole universe away from last year! Thank goodness I kept practicing my Ps: Patience, Perseverance, and Positivity! 

Thanks for reading! 

Who can you inspire?