I saw this of a friend’s Facebook page and thought it was a perfect description of my week 12 in preparation for the Dumbo Double Dare at Disneyland. This week, I saw my streak of 4 workout weeks come to an end. It wasn’t entirely a disaster, though. I finished 3.
See? Not all bad. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get in 4 workouts. However, this was a week that was hard. I felt tired almost for the entire week. Let’s go back and see how the week went along…
Monday meant that it was a rest day! After three great weeks, I felt good about this day of rest!
Tuesday, I ran my 3 mile Rose Bowl loop again. It was an unusually overcast day out. The image above doesn’t do the view justice. However, it gives you a clue about how awesome it looked running around the Rose Bowl. The overcast weather also brought much appreciated relief from the hot summer temps! Even with all this positiveness going on, I was pretty tired before I started the run. The first mile was quicker than I had done the previous attempts. So, that was cool. As the run went along, I realized that I had a shot at finally getting back under the 36 minute mark for 3 miles! During the last mile or so, I started feeling the freedom to just run again! No more worrying about back pain. I was moving faster and I was getting much better with the breathing. It was a good training run…
However, I still didn’t crack the 36 minute mark. I missed it by a mere 14 seconds. After previous Tuesdays with finish times in the 37 and 38 minute area, I was thrilled nonetheless by seeing a 36 in the minutes column.
Here was the view by the end. As I walked back to my car, I felt pretty amazing because I was moving in the right direction. I knew that there was still Thursday’s run and Saturday’s run at the same place over 3 miles each to finally crack that barrier.
Wednesday was supposed to be a gym workout. However, by the end of the work day, I was just too wiped out I think this above picture captures my Wednesday pretty well. Honestly, though, I’ve been feeling really tired lately. Like, every single day tired. So, I had hoped that by taking Wednesday off, it would ensure I could feel much better on Thursday.
Thursday, I was all set to push through the tiredness and try another 3 miles around the Rose Bowl. However, I got some news when I got home from work that took me completely out of focus. I know that I share a lot of things on this blog. However, this one is something I’m not going to share. In the grand scheme of things, it really isn’t that bad. However, when you’re tired and already having to work hard just to get out the door, any bad news can throw you off your game just long enough to kill a workout. That was my Thursday.
On Friday, we had some fun at the Walt Disney Studio Lot. From 11am through 2pm, it was the Summer Celebration 2014.
There were some fun cut-outs for pictures…
A Ferris wheel…
This big slide…
A zip chord…
A guy making a sand sculpture of Olaf…
Lots of free food! I do mean lots of it!
They even had beach wearing Donald, Goofy, and Mickey out for free photos!
Everything was beach themed…
It was a fun way to take a break from the regular work week!
The on the lot carnival takes the place of a company picnic. My first year at Disney, we had a pretty cool company picnic at the Santa Anita Race Track. Although, it was a little too much geared towards families with kids for Brooke and I to stick around longer than a couple of hours. When the economy went bad, back in 2008, the celebrations for Disney employees has tapered off. From the looks of things, they will do this kind of event every other year. Two years ago, we had a similar celebration on the lot, but in a different part. So, maybe that’s the way things are going. It is still fun, though. I totally appreciate that Disney does anything at all.
I did consider a gym workout on Friday evening, but decided against it. After all, I had another back-to-back run weekend ahead of me.
On Saturday morning, I returned to the Rose Bowl for my scheduled 3 miles. This time, my wife joined me. She was meeting a few of her co-teachers for a lap around the Bowl. So, while they waited for the other teachers to arrive, I took off and ran my own 3 miles. Tuesday was a good run for me. Saturday was even better. I could feel it right from the very first mile. In the Rose Bowl loop, the first mile and a half or so, is the most difficult part. So, with the first mile going by faster, I started wanting to eclipse that 36 minute mark. The second mile went really well and I could feel that I would finally finish in under 36 minutes. I knew it was going to be close. However, I was on a mission and running more free than I have in a long time. I was enjoying the music, being out among other runners, and realizing that I could be even faster.
As you can see…I did it! 3 miles in under 36 minutes! Afterwards, I felt very much like the Pete Carroll era USC Trojans and their (then) Pac 10 dominance! What’s strange is how much your feeling about finishing times changes with how you’ve done recently. I used to be under the 36 minute mark on a regular basis. Finishing with this kind of time would have been on the slow side for me. However, with the many missed workouts, my times have slowed. So, the 36 minute mark for a 3 mile run had become what I was chasing. Now that I’ve crossed it, I’m shooting for even faster times to come. They will come!
After I finished, I waited around for my wife and her co-teachers to finish. I did see them as I was coming to the end of mile 2. We went in different directions. After taking the pictures and posting them to Instagram, I walked to where they might be coming to eventually. As I walked over, I noticed my marathon pacer Erica on the loop and made my way over to chat a bit with her while waiting for my wife. Something she brought up that I hadn’t thought about before….next year’s Disneyland Half Marathon will be happening during their 60th Anniversary of Disneyland year. Maybe I will be running the Disneyland Half Marathon next year after all.
After the run, Saturday became chore day. We got all our chores done before dinner. So, that meant my wife and I had a nice, relaxing evening! We had dinner and watched The Great Gatsby for the first time. I must say that, even though The Great Gatsby starts off kind of slow, it’s a fabulous movie and Brooke and I really enjoyed it! Once the movie was over, we switched over and caught a few innings of Angels Baseball! Garrett Richards has become the Angels ace pitcher. When the game went beyond 10 innings, it was time to call it a night.
Sunday morning, I headed off to tackle 11 miles at Santa Monica Beach. The plus side of running here is the scenery for much of the way is amazing! See this hill? Walking back to the car after the run, you’ve got to go up this ramp. Not cool.
Every 11 mile training run that I’ve attempted has been completed at Santa Monica. It’s become my 11 mile training run route. I might have to consider a different route at some point. However, I love running here! On Sunday morning, it was overcast and cool. The weather was perfect for a long 11 mile outing. The first mile went by pretty well. However, during the second mile, my mind quickly realized what I was attempting and started throwing everything at me to get me to stop that it could muster. I can’t tell you how many times in the 2nd and 3rd miles I was ready to quit. I walked more than I wanted to in these miles. The one minute of running felt like forever and it just didn’t seem like my day. In spite of my body’s resistance, I continued on. After a great 1st mile, the next two went rather slow. During the third mile, I eventually found a run/walk ratio that I could settle on. I changed it up from the 1 minute run/1 minute walk I normally do to a 30 second run/1 minute walk. By the end of mile 3 this was working rather well for me. In the 4th mile, I started believing that the day would be saved after all. I knew I was sacrificing time. Finishing all 11 miles became the new goal. I also wondered how much time I would end up sacrificing.
I finished in 2 hours, 26, 17 seconds minutes for a 13:19 per mile average. This is not horrible and is an improvement over the debacle of two weeks prior. But, it is my slowest 11 mile training run as well. They tell you not to compare yourself with other runners. You are racing against yourself. Last week, I began looking at that. The sad reality is that I’m running slower these days. One year ago, I did my first training run at Santa Monica and finished in 2 hours, 17 minutes, 52 seconds. That’s a little less than 9 minutes faster. One week after the Disneyland Half Marathon last year, I covered 11 miles at the same place in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 7 seconds. Now, these are the only other two times I’ve attempted an 11 mile training run. So, there’s not a lot to compare. However, the fact is that I’m slower. Also, if you look at this same training week from a year ago, I finished the 3 miles on the Saturday of that weekend in 33 minutes, 55 seconds (vs. 35 minutes, 54 seconds)…2 minutes quicker over 3 miles.
This quote is so amazingly true. Success is about consistency. I’m in a little different place in life than I was a year ago. Some of that is bad, some if it is good. The Orange County Half Marathon was a low point for me in training. It was the point where I realized just how much I’d fallen off the training wagon and what the cost of doing so was. I had 4 runs in the month of May. Not good. I had 8 training runs in June. Getting better. So far, this month, I’ve completed 9 training runs. While my streak of weeks with 4 workouts has come to an end, today gives me a new opportunity to begin a new streak. I feel like, while I’m going slower right now, I’m on the path towards future success. As The Rock says, “Success isn’t overnight. It’s when everyday you get a little better than the day before.” Here’s to making week 13 even better than week 12!