The momentum from week 1 of training for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon continued through week 2! A second stellar week is now in the books as I get ready for my next runDisney race weekend! Let’s look back at how the week played out…
Monday was a rest day. I think the above graphic captures the day pretty well. Nothing special to report.
Tuesday, was an unplanned day off. I had a hard time sleeping on Monday night. So, waking up on Tuesday just wasn’t going to happen. I kept the alarm set and really wanted to get up and run. However, my body was having none of it. They say that running in the morning is so great because it eliminates excuses for missed runs. They are wrong. Having a bad night sleeping totally kills morning runs.
Even though I didn’t run, the folks for runDisney did have some news of their own for the day. We now have the official Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon map!
I righted the ship on Wednesday. It’s getting darker in the mornings. You want to hear something crazy? It was 81 degrees when this picture was taken. 81 DEGREES! That’s without the sun even being up yet. It didn’t look good. However, I had to get out and make up for my missed Tuesday morning run. At the outset, it wasn’t looking good. I thought I’d end up with a 37 minute run. I was okay with that. It was warmer and I’m still new to this running before work thing…
What I got was my fastest before work yet! 35 minutes, 42 seconds! As I got into the third mile, I could feel it. I felt like I had the opportunity to finish under 36 minutes. The last half mile, I switched from my 30 second run/1 minute walk interval to a 1 minute run/ 1 minute walk. Considering I only had a half mile, it seemed like a good idea and I was glad I did it.
On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Angels clinched the 2014 American League West Championship! Brooke and I watched the end of the game where they defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-0. That brought the Magic Number down to 1. At the time I had to go to bed, the Oakland A’s were leading the Texas Rangers 1-0 in the bottom of the 8th inning, bases loaded and 1 out. So, I figured that they would win and called it a night.
After the game, about an hour after the game, the Magic Number reached ZERO as the Rangers came back, scoring 6 runs in the top of the ninth and shutting down the A’s in the bottom of the inning to defeat Oakland 6-1.
Many of the fans stayed after the game to watch the conclusion of the Oakland A’s – Texas Rangers Game. There was much rejoicing!
Fireworks shot off!
and the Angels players came out to celebrate with all the fans that stuck around! Since I knew this was a possibility, I set the DVR up to record all of the post game show and some time after. One of the downsides of having to wake up at 5:30am to run is that you can’t stay awake to see possible celebrations live. Even though we didn’t get to watch this live, it was pretty emotional to watch the next day.
Congrats to the Los Angeles Angels….2014 American League Western Division Champions!
Of course, after Wednesday’s run, I had to get out and run on Thursday morning. Otherwise, I would have 1 missed run for the week. So, I got up and went out for my run. However, with the Angels winning the AL West while I slept, I got distracted with SportCenter’s coverage. I left a little late for my run, but still made it out. Honestly, this run felt better than the time says. At the end of my run, I took a picture with the Stop sign in the background because I got stopped a lot on this run. I think I made it through only a couple of the intersections that had traffic lights without having to stop. It’s amazing how some red lights can make such a difference. Some days when I’m running and hit a bunch of traffic lights, I don’t feel as good running and choose to blame the lights. Other days, when the traffic lights are against me, the blame is completely deserved. On Thursday, I blame the traffic lights and it was completely deserved because I was running really well (at least for me).
Friday was another rest day.
Saturday, I was up early again for 9.5 miles at the Rose Bowl. Here’s the thing with this run. 9.5 miles has come up on my training calendar exactly twice. Both times it was training for the Disneyland Half Marathon (2013, 2014). Click on the years to read about them. Both times this distance has come up, I’ve had disastrous results. So, as this week has progressed, I’ve had to decide what to do with this long run. For most of the week, I was prepared to attempt to gain redemption for the 9.5 mile attempt which became 8.3 miles in reality. It’s a difficult route with lots of climbing. On Friday night, though, as I thought more about it, I decided to run the Rose Bowl loop 3 times with a little extra (making all 9.5 miles). Since I’ve had so many set backs this year, I decided to go with the easier route and focus on getting the victory with finishing all 9.5 miles.
I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the Rose Bowl loop is a favorite of mine because it’s not too difficult and not too easy either. The first mile to mile and a half has plenty of incline to make it a little challenging. On Saturday, I knew that miles 1, 4, and 7 would be the most difficult…and they were. What I was not prepared for was the horrible smell as I ran by the golf course during those miles. Seriously. By mile 7, I almost vomited because of the smell. The first mile was predictably slow for a first mile. I was okay with that because my goal was to finish all 9.5 miles. Mile 2 got easier and the same with mile 3. As a matter of fact, of the first three miles, mile 1 was my slowest.
I snapped this at the end of the second lap. I had thought of doing it with lap 1. However, the loop started filling with people and I didn’t want anyone to think I was getting a picture of them. Mile 4 felt harder than mile 1. It was a little frustrating to get at the end of it knowing that I had surrendered a minute in that mile (and maybe more). I was already 30 seconds off from a 12 minute per mile pace. By the end of mile 4, I was nearly 2 minutes off that pace. Mile 5 was a little more difficult at the beginning than I was prepared for. I tried to make up for it the rest of the way. However, by the time I got to the easier side to run, I reminded myself that I still have one more lap to go. So, I held back. I finished the first 6 miles quicker than the week before. However, I was 2 minutes off the 12 minutes per mile pace.
I know this is blurry. I really tried to get a shot of what the clock was saying at the 10K mark. At 6.24 miles, I was running for 1 hour, 17 minutes and change. I was feeling confident that I would finish at that point. The seventh mile was taxing. The smell I mentioned earlier was having a stronger effect on me this time around. By around 6.5 miles, I thought I would vomit. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I did take an extra minute in my walk break though to make sure I was okay. Once I realized I was okay, it was back to the intervals. From the end of the 5th mile, I had been negotiating with myself to make it through one more run/walk interval and then I’d take an extra walk break. Other than the extra break after feeling sick, that extra walk break never happened.
In the last lap, I was really hoping to finish in under 2 hours. I knew it would be close. However, I was running much better than I did when I last attempted this distance for a training run. It felt so good to finish!
Final time was 2 hours, 0 minutes, 30 seconds. It was easily my best attempt at 9.5 miles. Afterwards, I went back to see how much better. On July 7, 2013, I made my first attempt. That finish time was 2 hours, 14 minutes, 34 seconds. So, this marked just over a 14 minute improvement! Score! On July 6, 2014, on my attempt at redemption from the previous year, I didn’t even finish all 9.5 miles. I ended the run at 8.3 miles in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes, 16 seconds. So, I beat my July 6, 2014 time by around 5 minutes while running over a mile longer! Again…Score!
Sunday, I was so close to another perfect week of workouts. However, a lunch with a friend after church left me feeling just plain lazy. It was a great lunch and church was so great in the morning! However, by the end, I just wanted to have a lazy Sunday. Argh! After making all three of my runs this week, it is a little disappointing to not finish everything strong. But, I can’t get too down. I did make all three runs and they were good runs. I blame football. After all, the Broncos and Seahawks were playing in a Super Bowl rematch. I’m still a work in progress with the choices I’m making in this running thing. Maybe, one day, I’ll get to the point where I just don’t miss anymore. Until then, I leave the misses behind me and strive for improvement. It was still a good week overall.
On to week 3!