Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sunday Long Run Description (3/11/12)

Here's a map link for you to reference:

Sunday's Run Course.

A few things to keep in mind for Sunday's run:

1)You will be running gradually uphill for the first half of your run! This course isn't terribly steep, but there is a GRADUAL uphill for much of the first half of the run. Keep this in mind as you may need to dial back your pacing a bit when you head out.

2)Watch your footing! There's a reasonable amount of this run that will take place on a dirt path/fire road. This means small rocks, tree roots(sometimes), and uneven ground at times. I don't want to see anyone take a tumble. Stay tuned in! This is particularly important for those of you who wear MP3 PLAYERS! Stay particularly alert on the RETURN when you will likely be a bit fatigued and traveling gradually DOWNHILL!

3)Water Stops. Roughly a mile into the run(not too far after you pass the Bison Paddocks on the left) there is water fountain on the LEFT adjacent to Lake Spreckles. Also there is a water fountain at the intersection of JFK/Transverse on the LEFT side of JFK. These descriptions will make more sense once you read my course description below.

Here is a description of our course:

Everyone will head NORTH from the Beach Chalet and promptly take a right turn to get onto JFK. You will run along the dirt path for about a quarter of a mile until you come to a stop sign. Turn LEFT at this stop sign at the pedestrian crosswalk onto the dirt path running along JFK.

You will continue running along this path for some time. As you close in on the first mile you will see the 'Bison Paddock' on your left. Shortly after you pass the paddock, you will see Lake Spreckles on the left. If you need water, cross the pedestrian crosswalk over to Lake Spreckles and you will see the water fountain
on your left.

Continue running on the dirt path for close to a mile and you will eventually come to a 4 way stop at the intersection of JFK/Transverse. This is roughly 2 miles. If you cross over to the LEFT side of JFK, you will find another water fountain.

Continue running on the RIGHT side of the dirt path past JFK/Transverse for roughly a mile. You will see a stop sign and traffic joining JFK from 'Conservatory Way'. (this is just prior to the Flower Observatory) There is a pedestrian crosswalk here. THIS IS 3 MILES. CROSS OVER TO THE LEFT SIDE OF JFK AT THIS CROSSWALK!

Run past the Flower Observatory and follow JFK all the way to STANYAN. This is a controlled intersection with traffic lights. Once you get to JFK/Stanyan, this is 3.5 miles.

Run through the intersection of JFK/Stanyan and onto the panhandle (the strip of land that runs between Oak/Fell). Run on the RIGHT side of the Panhandle! You will run along the panhandle for roughly half a mile along OAK. One block PAST Oak & Masonic (again, this is a controlled intersection with stoplights), keep your eyes peeled for OAK and CENTRAL. This is 4 MILES.

Continue running parallel to Oak until you reach the intersection of OAK/SCOTT. Look for a chalk 'MM 4.5' on the ground. EVERYONE (ALL TRAINING LEVELS) TURNS AROUND HERE AND HEADS BACK TO THE BEACH CHALET!

Once you return to the Beach Chalet, use the restroom, take in some fluids, throw back a gel/shot/etc., and then head SOUTH along the paved path that runs parallel to the Great Highway.

BEGINNERS will run to the intersection of Great Highway/Irving. Look for a chalk 'MM 10' on the ground. This is where you turn around and head back
to the Beach Chalet for 10 MILES!

Everyone else will continue south along the Great Highway. At the intersection of Great Highway/Moraga you will see a chalk 'MM 11' on the ground. INTERMEDIATE runners turn around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 11 MILES!

Advanced/Race level runners continue running south along the Great Highway until you reach the intersection of Great Highway/Quintara. Look for a chalk 'MM 12' on the ground here. ADVANCED level runners will turn around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 12 MILES!

Race level runners will run to the end of the Great Highway and turn LEFT onto the sidewalk that runs along SLOAT. Run along Sloat until you reach the intersection of Sloat/37th. Look for a chalk 'MM 15'. Turn around here and head back to the Beach Chalet for 15 MILES!

Monday, January 16, 2012

I run because I live for those fifth gear moments...

I've never owned a sports car or a motorcycle which is a good thing. The most aggressive vehicle I ever owned was a 1984 Honda Spree when I was 14. One spill on this hog when I gunned it a bit too much and I knew I needed to save my love of speed for running. I tend to be a bit aggressive behind the wheel, handlebars, or helm of just about any vehicle I pilot.

These days I save going off the rails and the urge for breakneck speeds for those days when I lace up whatever pair of shoes makes me feel fastest. Ultimately, one can get the same thrill of redlining a car or motorcycle during a run sans the risk of death. Well...for the most part.

Before you were a runner, you likely played some 'other' sport...baseball, basketball, soccer, football, etc. The most exciting moments in ALL of the aforementioned sports typically occur when someone is sprinting.

Maybe it's someone breaking away for a slam dunk, or a running back breaking some tacklers and running for the end zone, or a striker streaking towards an opponent's goal. This is when spectators go nuts. Speed is dramatic. Speed is dangerous. Speed is sexy.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying lose control, throw caution to the wind, and punch the pedal to the metal all the time, but kicking it into fifth gear every once in awhile if only for a few seconds or minutes is a rush. Don't deny it. You feel alive. You feel invincible...if only fleetingly.

I'm not disparaging the slow, plodding miles. But, if you're looking to post a personal best, win a race, place in your age group, or just beat that guy or gal who always seems to have a step or two on you, you need to use that fifth gear every once in a while....or lose it.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I'll try to elucidate. My words will likely fail to do the experience justice, but I will give it a shot. 'Fifth gear' is that crazy, scary speed that feels just a hair faster that what you perceive to be the fastest you can possibly run.

Everything is 100% engaged. Legs. Head. Heart. Using the motorcycle metaphor, imagine redlining a Ducati at 180 MPH and dosing it with some nitrous oxide. Terrifying? Definitely. A rush? Unquestionably.

I love the meditative qualities of a gentle, easy run along the beach. I relish feeling connected to nature out on the trails. I look forward to casual, social runs with friends.

But, it's because of those brief, fleeting moments when I engage the fifth gear and ask my body for all it has and then some that I ultimately run. It's also why I wear a helmet when I run.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Saturday Long Run Description (7/5/14)

Here is a link to the course map for Saturday:

Saturday's Course Map

We're logging between 9-13 miles on Sunday. Here's a verbal description as well:

Everyone will head NORTH along the Marina towards the Warming Hut. Roughly half a mile into our run (near Baker Street) we will make a RIGHT TURN and cross through the volleyball court area into the Yacht Club parking lot and TURN LEFT onto the Marina Promenade. This is a gravel/dirt path that heads towards the Warming Hut.

Upon reaching the Warming Hut(roughly 2 miles), you will run past the Warming Hut and take an IMMEDIATE left to head towards LONG AVENUE. Long Avenue is effectively a short hill that heads up towards Lincoln.

Everyone will head up Long Avenue along the shoulder until you reach a stop sign. This is LINCOLN. Take a right on to the paved cyclist/pedestrian path and follow this path to your right. Stick to this path as it heads towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Make sure that you are on this path and NOT on Lincoln. You do not want to be running on Lincoln for this course.

You will follow the path for roughly 1/2-3/4 of a mile. There will be a few points at which the path may fork, but stick to the MAIN path. You will soon see the Golden Gate Bridge approaching.

You will reach a point where you can continue running and run underneath the bridge or take a hairpin LEFT and wind your way up to the pedestrian side of the bridge. You want to do the LATTER and turn left and head onto the pedestrian side of the bridge. PLEASE BE CAREFUL! THERE ARE TYPICALLY A REASONABLE NUMBER OF TOURISTS WHO AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION. BE SMART AND BE POLITE IF YOU NEED TO GET AROUND SOMEONE.

Everyone will continue to the end of the bridge to the Visitor Center. This is 4.5 MILES. Stop here to grab some water, use the restroom, and/or take a gel, clif shot, etc. Everyone will turn around here and return to the monkey bars.

Upon return to the monkey bars, you will have logged 9 MILES! Beginner level runners are wrapped!

Everyone else will continue running SOUTH along the Marina towards our favorite hill by the Marina Safeway. Upon cresting the hill, Intermediate runners will turn around here and head back to the monkey bars for 10 MILES.

Advanced and Race level runners will head down the other side of Fort Mason Hill and head ALL the way to the end of Aquatic Park at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf. Advanced level runners turn around here and head back to the monkey bars for 11 MILES. 

Race level runners will continue into Fisherman's Wharf. As always, beware of tourists! Run through the intersection of Jefferson/Powell and continue onto the Embarcadero. Run to the intersection of Embarcadero/Bay. Look for the 'Hillstone' Restaurant on the right. Turn around here and head back to the monkey bars for 13 MILES!

Monday, January 09, 2012

Tuesday (4/12/16) Satellite Run Description/Map

Tuesday's satellite run launches from outside 333 3rd Street between Folsom/Harrison.

If you need to use the restroom, change, and/or store some personal items, head up to PSOAS in Suite 205.

You'll be logging between 4-7 miles based on your training level. Here's a link to the course map-

Tuesday's Satellite Course Map

Here is a brief description of the course:

We will cross Folsom from 3rd Street onto the sidewalk and take a right. We will run along Folsom all the way to the Embarcadero. We will cross the street and take a left onto the Embarcadero.

Continue running along the Embarcadero until you reach intersection of Embarcadero/Bay. Look for the Hillstone Restaurant on the LEFT side of the Embarcadero. This is 2 miles. Beginners will turn around and head back to PSOAS for 4 MILES!

Everyone else will continue running along the Embarcadero until it turns into ‘Jeffererson’. Run along Jefferson to the intersection of Jefferson/Powell. Look for the CVS Pharmacy on the left. This is 2.5 miles. Intermediate level runners will turn around here and head back to PSOAS for 5 MILES!

Advanced and Race level runners will run through Fisherman’s Wharf right to the edge of Aquatic Park. Once you reach the cul-de-sac at the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf/Aquatic Park, you’ve logged 3 miles. Advanced runners will turn around and head back to PSOAS for 6 MILES!

Race level runners will running through Fisherman’s Wharf through Aquatic Park and up Fort Mason Hill. Once you crest Fort Mason Hill, you’ve logged 3.5 miles. Turn around and head back to PSOAS for 7 MILES!

Monday, January 02, 2012

Spring Fling Lowdown

Some of you participated in my Cyber Monday game on Facebook & scored some excellent discounts off all my programs in 2012!

Given the positive response to this promotion, I'm doing something similar with my 'Spring Fling' game running from 1/3-1/6!

This promotion will be similar to the Cyber Monday promotion with a few wrinkles. Here's how it will work:

1)'Like' the Marathon Matt page.

It's easy. Click the link below, click the 'thumbs up' like button on the top of the page and you're set!

Marathon Matt Fan Page

2)Stay tuned to the riddles I post on the Marathon Matt page between Tues, 1/3 & Fri, 1/6.

Here's a sample riddle for you...

'This runner once owned the American record between 2,000-10,000 meters. He was known as a bit of an iconoclast and took on the AAU. His performance at the 1972 Olympics in the 5,000 meters is considered one of the greatest of all time despite his fourth place finish. He died tragically in a car accident. The last name of this individual is a discount code for Spring 13.1 good for $15 off!' (ANSWER-PREFONTAINE).

Unlike the Cyber Monday game, I WON'T be posting every hour on the hour. Riddles can be posted at anytime between 10AM-5PM.

You'll need to be on your toes. It's possible some riddles/discounts will only be valid for 30 minutes. Others may be valid for two hours.

Unlike Cyber Monday, the Spring Fling game will be live for several DAYS (Tues. 1/3-Fri.1/6 from 10AM-5PM).

3)Score discounts on my Spring programs (Oaktown 13.1 (1/8) & Spring 13.1 (2/18)).


The 'Spring Fling' moniker probably tipped you off, but the discounts I'll be extending are ONLY applicable to my SPRING programs (Oaktown 13.1 & Spring 13.1).

Unlike the Cyber Monday game, there won't necessarily be a consistent increase in riddle difficulty and discount amount.

This means a $30 discount may randomly appear in association with a particularly tough riddle that's live for 30 minutes only to be followed a few hours later by a softball riddle only good for $10 off.

You can get a leg up now by simply 'liking' the Marathon Matt page-

Become a Marathon Matt Fan!