12 weeks of training for the Disneyland Half Marathon and Dumbo Double Dare is over and just 6 weeks remain. This past weekend was…
Did you get that? LEGENDARY! It was the kind of weekend that makes you feel great about being a runner. It was the kind of weekend where you see the payoff from 11 weeks of work. It was a weekend that saw me equal my 5K PR on Saturday and set a new 10K PR on Sunday while running 14.1 miles overall (3.1 on Saturday and 11 on Sunday).
Saturday morning called for a 3 mile run on my training plan. So, I got up early (for me) and started out on my usual weekday loop. After all, cutting off a tenth of a mile would not be difficult at all. I knew I was on to something special from the very first minute of running. I noticed that I went further than normal in that first minute. It continued with each run/walk interval. With that success, I started to wonder if I could keep it up until mile 2. Guess what? I did! Since I finished the second mile so fast, I decided that I needed to see if I could set a 5K PR and would extend my run for the morning. By the end, I thought I had done just that…set a new 5K PR! After going back over my records, I realized that I had not set a new 5K PR, but tied my previous PR which was set last August. So, there was no new PR, but it’s still felt amazing to equal my previous one. If I had known that I would go this fast, I would have made sure to know what my 5K PR was before setting off. Oh well. I finished off my morning with a trip to the gym. By the end, I felt strong and amazing!
This weekend also called for back to back run days. So, even though I felt great on Saturday, I did wonder if my fast time would have any effect on me during Sunday’s 11 mile run at the beach.
Sunday morning was a cloudy and cool morning. It seemed like a great day for running. Two weeks prior to this, I had an absolute disaster of a run when I ran for 9.5 miles in a sunny, hot, and hilly Pasadena. On my drive to Santa Monica, I was focussed on putting that disaster in my rear view mirror and moving on to bigger and better things. I wanted to finish 11 miles in the same time it took me to finish 9.5. By the time I arrived, I ready to go and focussed.
Running at Santa Monica Beach was amazing! There were so many runners and cyclists out at the beach! I even spotted a few people who were wearing Disneyland Half Marathon shirts and one woman sporting her 2013 Tinker Bell Half Marathon shirt. I was in good company and I felt inspired to be around so many fellow runners. Another initial observation from mile 1 was that there was some sort of organized run happening at the beach that day. I saw many people with race bibs. It was kind of awesome!
My first mile went by really quickly. On my first 3 run intervals, I ran longer than I was supposed to because I was distracted by the new playlist, the ocean, and being in an environment perfect for running. So, I knew that I had to focus better or I would possibly wear myself out too quickly.
In the second mile, I found myself running by Venice Beach. What was fun about running here is that I’ve never been to this beach. It’s a beach that gets featured in movies and television shows. At the early hour when I went through, there were a lot of homeless people. I also noticed that the vibe was of a place just waking up. By the time I came back through, businesses were open and the area was coming to life. Venice Beach has a lot of things that I am not used to seeing at the beach. There were several basketball courts (one of which had bleachers around it), tennis courts and other places where you could workout right on the beach. I wished that I had stopped to take a photo.
Eventually, I’d arrive at a spot where the sidewalk ends and learned quickly how difficult it can be to run on sand in running shoes. So, I took advantage of getting off the beach ASAP and ran through this alley way. The alley ended on a cool strip of sidewalk that I took to its end and wound my way back and all the way over the water. I really liked the view.
Unfortunately for me, this spot was not the exact middle spot of my 11 mile run. So, I would have to run past the Santa Monica Pier to get to 11 miles.
By the end of mile 8, I was loosing touch with my 1 minute run/ 1 minute walk intervals. My run intervals were becoming 45-55 second ones. That became discouraging to me. So, miles 8-10 were hard on me. I though of just walking the rest of the way. Then, I started trying to increase the walk breaks to 1.5 minutes or 2 minutes. Nothing was working. It was frustrating. I’d gone from a run that felt almost freeing to desperately trying to find a way to stay in touch with the pace I wanted. However, towards the end of mile 10, I found a new rhythm that brought me home. I went to a 30 second run/30 second walk interval and was able to do this for a little more than the last mile. The result, when I finished, I felt like I could do more at the same interval. Lesson learned.
Yes, at the end of 11 miles, I was tired as the picture above could attest. However, I also felt pretty amazing at the same time. I learned something new…it’s okay to adjust your intervals. One surprise for me happened after finishing. You see, I use the Nike Plus GPS watch. At the end of each run, you get some encouragement like “Nice Run” or “Way to get out there.” It also tells you if you’ve broken any records. Much to my surprise, I broke the 10K PR that I set just three weeks prior in the Pasadena 10K! Here’s what the announcement looked like on my computer (once I got home)…
I wasn’t even thinking about my 10K time while running and I set a 10K PR. I’ll take more of these surprises any day of the week!
Here’s how Week 12 played out…
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Rest Day due to a cold.
Wednesday – Ran 3.1 miles
Thursday – 30 Minutes on Elliptical Machine, Abs, Chin Ups, Dips, Leg Press
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Ran 3.1 miles (equalled 5K PR!), 30 minutes on Elliptical Machine, Abs, Chin Ups, Dips, Leg Press
Sunday – Ran 11 Miles (with a 10K PR!)
Also, I got to see Despicable Me 2 with my wife and sister-in-law. AWESOME Movie! If you want to laugh, this is a great movie for that. I leave you this week with a clip from the first Despicable Me movie. Only 6 weeks until Disneyland and the DDD! Are you getting excited yet?