Week 7 saw me miss my gym workouts altogether. That is a bummer. However, I missed yesterday’s workout for a good cause. My wife and I were officially certified to adopt a child one year ago tomorrow (and are still in the waiting process). So, this morning, we had our re-certification home check, passing the inspection. Because we were getting our apartment checked out again, this past weekend was one of getting everything in order. Picking up things, throwing out things, cleaning, and making sure that everything on the checklist was taken care of. So, my Sunday was pretty busy with getting our house ready. That meant skipping out on a gym workout. However, I did make all three training runs this week!
Tuesday’s run wasn’t anything all too spectacular. I finished in a good time and felt pretty comfortable. Thursday, I was all set for one of my best 4 miles ever. Then, I waited at a traffic light (just past the 5K mark) for over 3 minutes. Argh! Up until that point, I was under an 11 minute per mile pace (fantastic for me). The sad part was that I ended up finishing slower on Thursday than I did on Tuesday. It’s amazing what a difference one traffic light can mean in your overall time. Oh well. I chose to think of Thursday as a raging success anyways. After all, if I didn’t hit that light, I may have completed my fastest 4 mile run yet.
Saturday’s long run set another record for longest run. This week, it was 17 miles! After finishing, all I can say is that 17 miles is far! I decided that I needed to run the same route I planned two weeks prior with an additional 2 miles. After all, I was very curious how well I would have done if I didn’t get lost. So, I was up with the sun again and started down the same path.
Ran by the same awesome frozen yogurt place… Menchies…
And found my way to Orange Grove Blvd. This time, I got a picture of some of what I saw…
I suppose I could have gotten a better shot. However, I wanted to make sure to get at least one from this awesome looking street. This time around, I got off to a much better start. Not too far up Orange Grove is an incline that continues for close to a half mile. I’m pleased to say that I kept my run/walk intervals going for almost the entire half mile this time. Hills are always a challenge and I want to get better at them. But, I was happy to see progress from two weeks prior where I pretty much just gave up and walked until I reached the top. Along this street, I passed the Tournament of Roses house again…
I was going pretty good at this point. The Tournament of Roses house came around 4 miles into the run. It would be a little more than another mile before I’d get onto the Rose Bowl loop. Like the last time, I had no problems getting to the Rose Bowl. This time, I took the opposite side of the street on my way down to the Rose Bowl. That was much better and had sidewalk for the entire way! As always, I loved running around the Rose Bowl. This loop is seriously fun. It does have some inclines and declines. However, there are just enough runners out to make it fun. I had planned on getting a picture of the golf course that’s next to the Rose Bowl. However, I was getting into that runners groove. So, I forgot to get a picture until it was too late.
This little intersection is where I made my mistake two weeks prior. I studied the Google maps satellite images of this tricky place and ground it into my head to make the right turn. Last time I kept going straight and got lost. This time, I made the right turn and was on track with my plans. Now, getting out of the Rose Bowl requires going up a pretty good hill. The road I took to get into and out of the Rose Bowl breaks up that incline into two parts. The first incline proved to be a little more than I could handle and I just power walked up. Once I got to the flat part, I ran until I got to the next incline (more than a minute!). Then, I power walked up the second incline and found my way back to Orange Grove Blvd. Success! I was now to the easy part of my course as far as knowing where to go.
I took Orange Grove to the famed Colorado Blvd. (the Rose Parade route). There were a few inclines as I made my way down Colorado Blvd. However, it was mostly downhill and flat. About a month ago, I was worried because I had trouble with motivation to keep going around 8-10 miles into my long runs. I’m proud to say that I didn’t experience that this time until about 12.5 miles! Progress! Also, I was happy that I crossed the half marathon distance right around where I hope to do so again this weekend!
That’s when everything started to fizzle really fast. By the time I reached 12.5 miles, I was out of water. I tried out a new fuel belt (more on that later this week) and the water bottles were smaller than I had previously. So, I tried to ration out the water more conservatively this time out. Big, HUGE mistake! By the time I got to 13.5 miles, I felt it. The sun was out and it was hot and I had no water. Fortunately, I did bring my credit card and ID with me in my new fuel belt just in case. There was a CVS not too far from 13.5 miles. So, I walked until I got there. Then, I stopped the watch because I didn’t want my time in line to count against me. I got some Gatorade at CVS. That helped me feel a little better. However, by that point, I was mentally done. I was ready for this training time to be over with. Muscles were sore and my feet were getting there as well. So, for most of the last 3.5 miles, I walked. I did run in every single mile of the 17. However, for the last 3.5, I walked a whole lot.
When all was said and done, I finished the 17 miles in just under 4 hours. My average pace was 14:04 per mile. Initially, I felt pretty bad about the fact that I had to walk so much at the end. However, with time, I realized that this wasn’t that bad of a run. My average pace was still around 2 minutes per mile faster than the max pace Disney requires. I did this while being under-fueled and going on a course that had more hills than the Walt Disney World Marathon will probably have. So, there is still plenty to be happy about. Do I want to do better in 3 weeks when I have to finish 20 miles? Absolutely. However, I will take this result and learn from my fueling mistakes of this run.
My week went like this…
Monday – Rest Day
Tuesday – Ran 4 miles
Wednesday – Unplanned Rest Day
Thursday – Ran 4 miles
Friday – Rest Day
Saturday – Ran 17 miles
Sunday – no workout to complete house projects
I sincerely hope y’all had a fantastic weekend! I’m now in another race week. On Sunday, I’ll be running in my 1st non-Disney half marathon…the Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon. Hoping for a good result and a new half marathon PR!