Meet Paul Carmona and his Running Streak,
I train year-round for races, I’m currently in the middle of a running streak going back to February of 2013. This past Saturday, November 15, 2014, was Day 652 in a row when I ran the Revel Canyon City Marathon in Azusa, CA. It was my 37th marathon (3rd this year).
I trained 45-50 miles per week, with long runs of 14-20, tempo/threshold runs every Thursday, speed work/hill repeats on Mondays, and easy runs every other day.
Conditions at this race were perfect. Slight cloud cover, upper 40s at start, little wind, and dry. The race starts in the San Gabriel Mountains and finishes in Azusa, which is a few miles east of Los Angeles.
The race had just under 700 runners in the marathon, and over 800 in the half-marathon.
My goal was to beat my best time from 2013, which was 3:24:02 at the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Salt Lake City. I ran Big Cottonwood again this year, but hamstring and calf cramps slowed me to 3:30:18. I went to Canyon City with several weeks of training at 7:40-7:45 pace behind me.
I was happy with the results. I was able to run a PR for ANY half-marathon in the first 13.1 of Canyon City (1:36), and that was with a 2:07 portapotty stop just before mile 13 (waiting in line…watching the seconds go by). I had driven the course the day before and knew there were several climbs from 14-17 and 20-21. I actually walked several times on those climbs, anticipating the ensuing downhill stretches after them. I was able to hit 7:30 and 7:26 at miles 22 and 23, respectively, and then cruised in just above 8:00 for the final 5K.
This was my third fastest marathon (3:16 and another 3:21 in 2001-02), so at age 50 I was glad to be pushing below 3:22 again for the first time in over a decade.
This was the inaugural event for the Canyon City Marathon, so I knew there would be few Texans (and probably few Austinites) at the race. So I proudly wore my Texas Running Company singlet and received quite a few “Go Texas!” cheers along the way.