12 Mile Training Run Breathes Fresh Air Back into My Training!

Who knew a 12 mile run was exactly what I needed to find my training mojo again? That’s exactly what happened on Saturday as I took my long run back to the beach…


This time, it was Santa Monica Beach. I have loved running here in the past. So, since I have been in this running funk lately where all my runs have felt horrible, I went back to let Santa Monica weave its magic. Boy, did it. I was up at 6am and made it down to Santa Monica by a little after 7am. As you can see in the picture above, it was a cloudy morning and temps were on the cool side. It felt like great weather for a run! On previous training runs at Santa Monica, the first mile goes by quickly. This time, it was not a quick as before. Although, my time indicated a normal start of my training run. During Mile 2, I was already starting to wonder if I would finish all 12 miles that day. In spite of not being mentally locked in, I trudged my way on to the finish of mile 2. Running by Venice Beach is always interesting. I think that helped get me through the end of mile 2 and start off mile 3. Running by Venice when it’s just waking up is pretty cool. I took my first Cliff Blok at the end of mile 2 and it helped energize me through mile 3. By the end of that mile, I’m no longer looking at the beautiful Pacific Ocean, but am running down an alley behind beachfront properties. It’s not as fun, but there were plenty of runners out doing the same as I was. During the 3rd mile is where I started to feel 12 miles was going to happen. The alley ends towards the end of mile 4 and I’m running along the water again to finish out the mile. Let me just say, seeing the water again perked me up. I did take a brief break once I finished mile 4 to take another Cliff Blok and enjoy the view. My time wasn’t great and I made the decision that finishing 12 miles was what I wanted to focus on and trying to find the joy again in long distances.


There’s a little strip of land that runs out into the water in the 5th mile. I got to just over 4.5 miles at the end of that strip. It seemed like a great place to stop for a photo and take in the view.


There is nothing I enjoy more than being by the water on a long training run!


As I ran in the 5th mile, these guys were rowing right next to me. They went out past where the strip of land was and out further into the ocean. With my little break over, it was time to head back. Even though, I was running slower than I would prefer, I was enjoying this training run more than I have others in a long time. This run was about showing myself that I could finish more than 10 miles. So, slowly, but surely, I made my way back along the path that I had come from. I arrived back at the Santa Monica Pier in the 10th mile. This mile felt like the toughest. It seemed like I would never see that mile finish. No matter the feeling, it was a pretty good mile for me. Once I reached the end of 10 miles, I took a few minute breather because I was feeling tired. I took in another Cliff Blok and told myself that I had to get to finish all 12 miles. So, I headed back to the Santa Monica Pier and beyond to finish the run out. The most encouraging thing about this run was that I felt like I finished the last mile strong. Once I got past 11 miles, it was like I could feel the call of that last mile pulling me to finish it out.


12 Miles! My first double digit training run since the Surf City Half Marathon on February 2nd was complete! I was thrilled to be done and even more happy that I made my goal of finishing all 12 miles!


This is how that run turned out. 12 miles along the coast with a 13 minute per mile average. I’ve had worse and I’ve had better. However, it felt great to just be able to finish! Bring on that Hollywood Half Marathon!


Afterwards, I took a stroll up the Santa Monica Pier and enjoy being at the beach.


The clouds were still out. However, the sunshine was also poking out as well. This is the amusement park part of the pier.


Looking the other way, you can see the sun fully out. It turned into a great day!


For the week, I finished 3 training runs. If you’ve been following along, you probably know that my run on Wednesday only half of what I had intended. However, I was training with a friend whom I’ll be running with this Saturday at the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K. So, I cut the run short. Overall, it was a good week at getting the miles in. Missed workouts in February has contributed towards slower finish times for me. However, I’m on the right track.


On the Map My Run chart, you can see that I also put in a gym workout on Sunday to finish off the week. So, for the second week in a row, I’ve made 4 workouts in a week! The mileage listed on the chart shows how far I went on the elliptical machine. If you want to know what the rest of my gym workout consisted of, check out this posting. The plan is to keep the gym workouts the same for this week and the next. After the Hollywood Half Marathon, I’ll be doing something a little different.


It’s the first of two consecutive race weeks this week! For this week, I’ll bet to run in the Angels Baseball Foundation 5K at the Big A on Saturday! I can’t wait to be running in a race again!

Last, and certainly not least, don’t forget… Runners Assemble! Tomorrow is THE day to sign up for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend at Disneyland! There is a lot of buzz over this race. So, it will sell out fast. Be prepared to register tomorrow at 9am PDT/Noon EDT. For more information, check out the runDisney website. I’m planning on being online and ready to go before 9am. Good luck to all who want to run in this new runDisney race!

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