Friday, March 19, 2010

FFF: San Diego vs Seattle

Unfortunately this post is not going to be arguing the merits of 75 degree sunny weather vs the merits of 50 degrees and rainy (but I'm not biased...at all). I leau of a Funny Photo Friday post, I thought that since I am not running, I'd try to squeak in a running post where ever I could.

After all, when life gives you lemons (Bum foot), you throw them as hard as you can at the person who has whatever you want and steal it from them when they drop it. (I'm going to make a GREAT father some day) Thats how I got my wife, so why mess with a good process?

You see, with my ~2-3 weeks off from running, I have a bit of an issue - at least internally in my head. In 11 weeks I have the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon - and three weeks after that I have the Rock and Roll Seattle Marathon. *slaps forehead* Obviously I got caught up in the hype of the RnR series medals and bit off a little more pavement than my legs could chew.

The issue is that I was originally targeting San Diego for a run at a new PR. (Note: What the PR is doesn't matter, I could just as easily be targeting for 5:30 or trying to beat the sweeper) Since I took some time off, I am seriously considering making San Diego a training run and pushing hard at Seattle.

So, the question is, which race looks "harder"? Whichever one looks harder I'll likely make a training run / fun run and push harder than a woman delivering a 12 pound baby on the easier one. Because, I want a PR, but I want to work as little as possible at it. Here are the stats:

San Diego:
  • 26.2 miles
  • 300 Ft Net Downhill
  • One large 300 ft hill at mile 10
  • Two small 100 ft hills at mile 13 and 16


Seattle:
  • 26.2 miles
  • 0 ft Net Downhill (start/finish at sea level)
  • Two small 125 ft hills
  • One and a half 200 ft hills at mile 16 and 18


My gut says that the rollers of Seattle will actually be a bit harder and the fact that San Diego is net downhill and most of its hills are up front should make it easier, right?

14 comments:

RunnuRMark said...

Thank God, I was afraid you were going to say something about making lemonade with your feet. Now that would make you pucker!

Wow, the last half of San Diego is crazy flat. But honestly for me the biggest deciding factor would probably the weather conditions. I would choose to push it at whichever one is cooler/cloudier. If it's a tie, San Diego looks easier.

The Sean said...

Don't be fooled by the net downhill, especially with your foot issues. This could cause a lot of issues if run aggressively. The rollers are good for the change of muscle use.

They are both marathons... so neither will be "easy". Go by feel on the day and enjoy it.

Jamoosh said...

If you survive the first half of San Diego, you may be home free for a PR. The work at Seattle comes in the second half.

In my case the criteria would be different. Where would I most want be able to drink beer afterwards...

Rio said...

That's a toughie! It looks like the 1st half of SD this year is the same as last year and honestly, it didn't seem so bad except for the weird slant on a portion of the 163 highway.
One thing I've learned, though, is it doesn't matter what the elevations say if you're not "in the zone." Whichever day you feel good- that's the day to aim for a PR.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Wow, tough call. I am not very experienced at this sort of thing, but I say follow your gut. Make San Diego the training fun and try to PR at Seattle. The downhill of San Diego may break you. In my small amount of experience I find uphills easier on my body than downhills.

Also, I have found that I run a bit faster in the rain. :) Running better in cooler weather is a given.

aron said...

i heard seattle is a tough course, but who knows?!?! i ran SD last year and wasnt really a fan :) i think i would wait too and see what the weather will be... sunny and warm can make for a tough race, it was pretty humid last year in SD too. but it was a fluke and was warm in Seattle too! haha wow this comment is all over the place.

RunningLaur said...

The elevation for SD looks a bit easier, but it'll all depends on where your body and mind are on race day. I think I'd go into SD as an easy training run, mainly bc of the foot - it builds in an extra 3 weeks of recovery/build and once you're closer to the race you'll know if you're ready to go further/faster. In conclusion, I'd say go for Seattle, but don't rule out a surprise at SD if you still have that urge.

Julie said...

Hi Adam,
Yea, I really don't know what I would do....hopefully you will get all kinds of great input from other blogger friends:) Wow, look at all of those fancy medals in that special box:) Have a wonderful weekend Adam!

Lisa said...

That's a tough one! How do you do on hills? If you're good on steep ones and like getting them out of the way, then SD seems like the one to go for, but I've had a lot of trouble with my feet lately and I think the steep hills would be worse, and going downhill for a good amount of time. Prob doesn't help much but something to think about.

Running Through Phoenix said...

Ohh Dexter! The trophy case. (Showtime series reference). SD is my first M, and so now you have me scared like a driver's ed teacher in a Toyota. In 11 weeks you will surely have some other injury to contend with, so Carpe diem and go with Jamoosh's advice for beer venues.

Ulyana said...

Hey man, I ran San Diego twice and Seattle zero. So, I can only speak for San Diego, but it just happened that was the course I PR'ed at. Course-wise, I don't remember any hills, it seemed easy in that sense. Also, a fun race and short (as short as marathons get, haha).

But what I would keep in mind is weather/humidity. I remember San Diego being pretty darn warm. Is the weather in Seattle cooler during that time? (might be a stupid question, but I honestly don't know). What about humidity?

What I loved about San Diego, though, is going straight to the beach after the marathon and swimming in the cold ocean.

Oh, and loved your comment, glad you got the reference :)

kilax said...

I would have come to the same conclusion - that you are crazy for doing two marathons within 3 weeks!

Just kidding! Seattle seems the tougher course to me as well.

ShutUpandRun said...

The other thing about Seattle that might be tough is the humidity. Maybe it's just cause I'm not used to it, but when I go to humid places and try to run (even if it's not "hot") I have a tough time. Good luck with the decision!

Glenn Jones said...

I found the worst parts of San Diego was in downtown in the first six miles or so with the uneven pavement and the little botz dots separating traffic lanes. Real easy to roll an ankle if you don't pay attention. The "hill" is at miles 6 through 8, and the worst part of that is that it's on a cantelievered freeway where your left leg is always lower than your right. Then there's the weather. The latter parts of the course can get hot. And becuase you're running near the ocean it can be humid. Plus the boredom factor. Like Aron, I'm not a big fan....