Happy Friday! This week’s Friday Thrive is the California International Marathon edition – I’m still riding high on my PR and second BQ from last weekend’s race.
The California International Marathon is Made for PRs by Martin Fritz Huber for Outside.
Can I tell you how much I love this marathon? This must be how many runners feel about the Boston Marathon – there is something utterly magical about CIM. And I’m not the only one – our flight to Sacramento was packed with runners eager to run fast on Sunday (and get some sunshine before it altogether disappears here).
Huber highlights what makes CIM such a unique race for running a personal record: a net downhill with rolling hills for 20 miles and a flat final 10K; a fast crowd of Olympic Trial and Boston Qualifiers (and this year, USATF Marathon Championship competitors); and ideal weather, with temperatures in the 40s at the start and 50s at the finish.
I would add to that the sunshine as well, but maybe that’s because the better part of November is gray and rainy in Seattle. A little vitamin D can work magic on race day.
Last year, we did not indulge in In-N-Out, so we made up for it by stopping at In-N-Out before returning back to Seattle on Monday afternoon. Friends from California rave about In-N-Out and frequent readers know I have a weakness for burgers and fries. The burger was actually really, really good, especially for a fast food burger. Seattle, take note.
One of my favorite breweries is Sierra Nevada Brewing, so needless to say, I was thrilled when I saw the beer tent at CIM. My seasonal favorite was even on tap – Sierra Nevada Celebration IPA. Like most of their beers, it features Cascade, Chinook, and Centennial hops for a west-coast style hoppiness and hints of pine for a holiday taste.
I never sign up for a race just for the swag bag, but I always am excited when the race swag is useful. The swag for the California International Marathon 35th anniversary was one of the best I’ve received, especially at a marathon: a quarter zip tech shirt, socks, a buff, a running belt, and a reusable shopping bag to carry it all in. The tech shirt was so comfortable for the return flight home and honestly, I’m excited to some my CIM love with something as versatile as a buff.
“Making a Case for Working on Your Strengths” by Allie Burdick for Women’s Running.
One aspect of training that make a significant difference for me was shifting my focus to my strengths instead of my weaknesses. I still do workouts in my area of weakness (shorter, faster speed work) but I saw a huge improvement in my times from 2015 to 2016 – and a continued improvement in 2017 – when I started focusing on my strengths of tempo runs, long runs, and running more on hills.
This article makes the case for working to your strengths in all areas of training, including picking a goal race and the type of fuel you take. If gel works for you, don’t worry about what fat-adapted runners are doing. If you thrive at smaller, local races, don’t feel pressured to sign up for a big city marathon just because it’s where your friends set their PRs.
I want to thank everyone for the support and encouragement of both last week’s marathon PR and my upcoming laparoscopy in just a few days. I appreciate you so much!
What’s the best swag you’ve received from a race?
Have you tried In-N-Out? Do you think it lives up to the hype?
What is your ideal race weather?