1/20 – Canyoneras Crush Houston; Track Season Begins

Strawberry Canyon Track Club continued its impressive first month of the 2019 campaign over the weekend, sending two women to Houston for the half and full marathons, and fielding a healthy turnout at the first of three Cal All-Comers meet.
In Texas, two Canyoneras competed in the Chevron Houston Marathon and Half Marathon, which were highly stacked, competitive races. Conditions were breezy and “too” cold, so not quite optimal for turning in the best possible performances. However, Madeline Duhon, who was actually born in Houston, clobbered the marathon club record by over 11 minutes, finishing in 2:38:42, good for 13th overall. She will be looking towards the Olympic Marathon Trials in Atlanta in February of next year.
Also in the mix was Karen Eckberg, who has never seen a half marathon she didn’t like, ran to 1:22:14 gun time, but may have eked a razor-thin PR on chip time. Despite the fairly difficult conditions, she still ran to the best of her ability and was the 59th place female in the half marathon.
At the Cal All-Comers meet in Berkeley, perfect weather greeted the athletes after a month-long rainy spell. Stephen Bailey was thrown into the fast section of the 60-meter hurdles event and  responded well. His attention to technique and detail has really paid off for him as he skimmed over each hurdle en route to a mark of 9.09, which took 0.35 seconds off both his PR and club record.
Kyle Bystrom and Andrew Tey entered the 1500, and Kyle, normally a slow starter during the season, had by far his most impressive early-season performance in history, taking third in the 1500 in a time of 4:10.29. Andrew, who has just started doing Monday workouts with us, finished in 4.44.29.
We had several athletes take a crack at the 400-meter dash, and Stephen Bailey emerged victorious over new teammate and training partner Noah Shamsai. Stephen’s 53.48 was only 0.23 seconds off of his PR so that is very encouraging for so early in the season, while Noah ran 53.75, at top 5 time for the club. Also in the race was Kyle Bystrom (54.41) and Andrew Tey (57.17) coming off their earlier 1500s.
Anchit Desai ran a gutsy 800 but seemed to make one tactical error in fighting for the lead after 500 meters. Though a bit disappointed, he still ran 2:18.81 and will drop that time considerably before all is said and done.  
Stephen Bailey and Noah Shamsai squared off again in the 200 meter event, and this time Noah prevailed, thus evening the scoreboard between the two training partners at 1-1. Noah (24.25) was only .10 off of Stephen’s club record. Stephen missed that but still ran well in 24.48.
The 3200 was the final event and Denny Rich kind of went for it, but didn’t have his usual “pop” which was presumably the result of a fairly relaxed training bloc during Christmas break. He ran 9:54.02, and Mitchell Negus ran 10:07.90, and is deliberately trying to peak later in the season so he can optimize his efforts at the more significant races.
At the Los Gatos All-Comers meet, Bill Brusher ran to a 3:12 800, a top age group time for Super Seniors+, and Matt Bogdanowicz competed in the shot put.
This post was written by Coach Carl Rose.

12/2 – Eleven Berries Run to Fantastic Finishes at CIM

The California International Marathon took place on Sunday, December 2nd, serving as the USATF National Marathon Championships and the center piece race of the year for eleven Berries who competed. Coach Carl recaps the day in Sacramento.
Sunday proved to be rather astonishing day for many Strawberries – I was a little uncertain how things would shake out because of two weeks of not being able to run outdoors due to wildfire smoke. However, people did what they needed to do – treadmills, pools, cross-training in the gym – to salvage all of the hard work they had put in to get to this point.

Jonathan Briskman finishes in a new club record time

First across the line for the Berries was Jonathan Briskman who absolutely KILLED it with a new open men club record of 2:20:18, missing the US Olympic Trials qualifying time by only 78 seconds and setting an 8-minute PR; I have to think that was the best race of his life to date. 

Shellin Chuong ran a 15 minute PR in 3:03:29 and surely has a sub-3 is in the cards. At this point, I really would not put anything past her – she is an absolute metronome.
Big shout out to Ryan Smith, who had battled several injuries of varying degrees in the past six months, and missed quite a bit of time, yet STILL beat the old club record with an amazing debut in 2:23:47! Just wait till he gets a solid run-up under his belt!

Kimmie Pavela and Silvio Temprana (right) both ran to PR times at CIM

Silvio Temprana has been getting better himself by leaps and bounds and damn near got a Boston qualifying time. Today he popped a 3:09:29 mark, right on the heels of Kimmie Pavela, who crossed the line in 3:09:28 – a PR for her!
Matt Perez also PR’d, betting his previous best by 12 minutes, although his old PR was some time ago, while pacing Shellin to a Boston qualifying time (today he ran 3:06).
Matt Weber ran a strong debut marathon in 2:44:50. We were happy with that although we also know there is room to improve and he would have gone faster with uninterrupted training… the smokocalypse did seem to affect him some.
There were a couple of off days: Colin Gannon PR’d by two minutes but was expecting to go a lot faster. However a combo of shin-calf issues and quads that seem to lock upon him in longer races contributed to a 2:39:20 time. Regina Scarpin still ran a solid 3:00-flat time, although she didn’t have her “A” game after running only once in the smoke (probably a very smart move long-term) and losing some of her edge. 
Rafael Oeschger broke the three hour mark, and Melanie Miksis ran 3:30.30, which amounts to a whopping PR for her!
Congratulations to all who ran!


1/1 – Coach Carl’s Tips to Achieve Your 2018 Race Resolutions

Coach Carl shares ten handy tips that can make an immediate difference in your race performances:
1. Pace yourself properly. The heady combination of pre-race adrenaline and pent up energy associated with a taper prompts many athletes to go out too hard, and most of the greatest mistakes in a longer race are made in the first 45-60 seconds. Do your best to control that first portion of the race, and parse your effort very evenly. Think of the boiled lobster analogy, what feels great at minute one won’t seem as optimal twenty minutes later.
2. If you are feeling lethargic and it’s not iron-related, take a harder look at your Vitamin D levels. Note that Vitamin D “functions like a hormone.” These can fluctuate seasonally (winter brings less light than summer). Fish oil aka “happy fat” is your friend. Also, if you change lifestyles, (i.e. you land an indoor desk job) this can have a dramatic effect on Vitamin D levels.    
3. In longer road races and marathons you can take a gel, shake it in your water bottle, and drink them together. This is much easier than trying to swallow a sticky gel mid-race and chase it with water.
4. In old school races providing only paper cups, cut a straw into three sections and place them in your watch band. It is a cleaner way to sip those mid-race fluids.
5. Don’t sprint through aid stations. It is better to slow down a minute or even two minutes per mile, make sure you obtain your fluid, and then speed up again. The time lost is negligible and the replenishment of reserves is vital.
6. On hills in cross country or trail races, shorten your stride and work on your cadence (turnover) and paw back (push-off). Most people tend to maintain their stride length, which creates an over-stride on the uphills and this consumes a lot more energy. Conversely, on the downhills, take a longer stride but don’t reach out too far that you brake.
7. Disclaimer: Coffee is not for everyone. But if you drink coffee, drink it at least three hours before the start of your race. If you drink coffee daily, take three or four days off of coffee before a big race for a “super-kick.” If you have never drank coffee, try it before a workout first before rolling the dice and drinking it before a race.
8. Dynamic stretching before workouts, static stretching after workouts. Sometimes a little moderate static stretching before bed helps you sleep if you are feeling antsy.
9. Sleep is one of your best training allies, especially the week before a big race. This is when growth hormone repairs hard working muscles.
10. Don’t eat an entire Tacos Sinaloa super burrito 15 minutes before the start of your championship race. Thought it may be a shock to many, this can generate some concerning mid-race digestive prompts.
Written by Coach Carl Rose.