Last week, Carissa from Fit2Flex (and one of our runDisney race announcers) posted a blog entitled “How to Make Fitness a Priority.” If you haven’t been following Carissa’s blog, you should. I loved that she began that blog with the above image. Consistency doesn’t happen when you miss training runs or workouts. At least not the consistency that leads to greatness. Week 8 was another week of missed opportunities. So, I really wanted to turn things around and have week 9 be a bounce back week….that it was!
This is how the week looked overall. I made all 4 scheduled workouts!
I also made all three training runs on the calendar for the week!
After a rest day on Monday, I got back out and completed 3 miles on Tuesday.
For the first time since I started running, I took a mid-week run to the Rose Bowl. On my way home from work, I decided it would be fun to take advantage of the extra daylight hours and do something different. When I got down to the Rose Bowl, I saw that I was not alone in wanting to be out there! The soccer field was buzzing.
There was even a large group of cyclists out in force. Also, as you can see, there were plenty of people on the running path as well. It was awesome to be training in the middle of the week amongst so many other runners/walkers and cyclists! I was already excited to try something different. However, seeing how crowded the running loop was just added to that excitement. It was even busier than the weekends! While I enjoyed being out surrounded by so many others doing exactly what I was doing, I also dealt with the effects of missing a week of running. One of these days, I will learn this lesson. However, when I take too much time away from running, the next run is always going to be painful. Tuesday was no exception. I did fine over the first mile and a half or so. Then, the tightness started. By the end of mile 2, I could feel that pain in my lower back start up. By 2.5 miles, I took a short break. That seemed to help me get all the way to 3 miles.
So, I finished the full 3 miles and endured the pain in the last mile. It’s just what happens when I take a week off. The problem is that this pain can happen with just 1 or 2 missed runs as well. That hurts the motivation to get out and run again if you know what I mean. Thus, before I know it, I’ve missed the entire week. Then, I have to convince myself that the pain will go away but I must endure this first run to get to the pain-free ones. I must say, though, in spite of the pain I felt, I left the Rose Bowl on Tuesday excited to do it again on Thursday. I was pretty pumped to get out and do better.
After taking a day off on Wednesday to go to choir practice, I was out again on Thursday for another 3 miles around the Rose Bowl. Sometimes, after a week off, only my first run gives me trouble. Other times, it’s two runs. This week it was the latter. However, the pain came in the last 0.2 miles this time. It kind of bums me out that happened because I was running under a 12 minute per mile average before that. Even in the last 0.1 miles, I had the possibility of finishing in under 36 minutes. In spite of this, it was a victory. Why? I took about a minute and a half off my Tuesday finish time. Also, the pain came later than the time before. This is just how things are working for me right now. I left the Rose Bowl knowing that Saturday would be better and hopefully pain-free.
I was correct. After taking Friday as a rest day, I was out and back at the Rose Bowl on Saturday to complete 4 miles this time. That meant I would be doing a little more than the one loop. Even though my average pace was a few seconds slower, Saturday’s run was a victory. Why? It was a pain-free run! Also, I finished the first 3 miles in under 36 minutes! My fastest 3 miles of the week! It’s good to see progress. So, here’s the thing about running around the Rose Bowl. It’s a mildly challenging 3 mile loop. There are inclines and declines along the way. The direction I run has the first mile and a half or so as the most difficult. Then, after crossing the mile and a half point, it’s either entirely downhill or flat. That’s great for running 3 miles. However, once I began mile 4 the inclines started up again. I had a few minutes where I gave up mentally in the first half of the fourth mile. By the time I turned around to finish, I was fine and finished strong. As a matter of fact, the last half of that mile went faster than the first half. Of course, the inclines in that first half turned into declines in the second. So, that helped. I even ran 2.5 minutes of my last 3 minutes and could have run more. The tough thing about shorter distances is that a minute or two giving in mentally can totally hurt your time. I was happy, though to have completed all three training runs for the week!
Sunday morning was an early wake up call so I could go down to Pomona First Baptist Church and sing with their choir in their annual patriotic service. Can you see me? I’m in the 4th row. My mom in the front row at the end. She used to go to this church when we lived in Ontario, California. Since she and my dad moved to the high desert, she only comes back for special performances. Her church does not have a regular choir. Over the past few years, Brooke and I have gone out to see her perform with this choir. Also, in the choir are two people who I sang with when I went to Azusa Pacific University and was in the University Choir and Orchestra. After the last special concert, my mom along with those former college peeps invited me to join them for this concert. So, I’ve been going out for practices on Wednesday evenings when I could and got to sing with them on Sunday morning for 2 services.
One of the more moving moments of the service was singing the above piece. My wife videoed the close of this piece where we sang all of the anthems of the various branches of the military. When you rehearse a medley like this, there is no way to prepare you for the emotions in the room as you sing it in front of those who have served. In the first service, I was almost moved to tears because of the emotions in the room. You could feel them. Before we started this song, the pastor had people who serve as police or first responders to stand up so we could thank them for their service. Then, he acknowledge a group that normally doesn’t get acknowledged in these kinds of situations…those who have relatives or friends who are Missing In Action (or had been MIA). Then, in the medley, each time we got to one branch of the military’s anthem, those that had served, or were currently serving, in that branch would stand. Those in the choir who had been in that branch were given flags to waive during their branch’s anthem. It was very moving. The music took up almost all of the service. We ended with The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
After the fun of performing in 2 services, Brooke and I headed off to lunch with my parents. After lunch, I headed home to catch a showing of Transformers: Age of Extinction. I’m not including any photos for that movie because it was easily the worst of the Transformers movies. The movie is almost 3 hours long and entirely too many action sequences. I never thought I’d ever say that about a film. However, by the end, I found myself checking my watch to try to gauge how much more could be fit into the movie. There was so much action that it actually started putting me to sleep. How does that happen? This film does not have Shia LaBeof as Sam Witwicky or his crazy Witwicky parents. Nor does it have John Turturo as Agent Simmons. So, the comedy that helps the previous Transformers movies move along in a fun way is largely missing in this one. Josh Duhamel and Tyreese Gibson are also gone from this movie. So, all of the main players (outside of the Transformers) are gone from this film without any explanation. It’s as if the previous 3 films didn’t happen. I own the first three Transformers movies. However, I think I’ll skip buying this one. It wasn’t fun and the action scenes just made the movie feel like it kept dragging along.
Since I felt so tired during the last part of Transformers: Age of Extinction, I didn’t think I would make my gym workout. Thankfully, after leaving the theatre, I gained a second wind. So, I went home, took about a half hour break, changed and headed off to the gym. The elliptical machine can feel like a beast at times. On Sunday, I tamed the beast! It was a really good workout that left me tired, but feeling great!
Due to time constraints, I went to the local, Pasadena LA Fitness this time around. As much as I love the one in Sierra Madre, the Pasadena one is closer and works just fine for me. I left LA Fitness feeling really good (even though I was a little tired) because I had finished ALL 4 workouts that I had on the calendar to finish! None of these workouts were easy. However, why should they be? If they are easy, then I’m not really pushing myself. I think that, once you finish a full marathon, you forget how hard the work was to prepare for that distance. I think that there will always be a part of me that feels tired when the time for a workout comes. What got me through this week was remembering how much the OC Half Marathon sucked because of my lack of preparation. I don’t want to do that again. So, I need to live by the mantra…No More Missed Workouts.
Bring on Week 10!