Week 19 was quite the week for me. It started at Walt Disney World and saw me raise the standard in my workouts. This is something I’ve been itching to do ever since the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend. Let’s look back at a great week 19!
Monday was our last day at Walt Disney World. So, my week started off with a Mickey Waffle. After all, I never know when I’ll get another one.
Brooke and I spent our last few hours at Walt Disney World by hanging out at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. We love this resort and will one day have to stay here. I know that many people spend their final hours at Walt Disney World visiting one final theme park. I would never leave the park on time to catch Disney’s Magical Express to the Orlando Airport. So, we stayed with the safer choice.
The food court at the Art of Animation is really fun! We made sure our last meal was eaten here.
I couldn’t resist getting some final pictures of the lobby. It’s seriously the coolest lobby at any Disney resort.
Before we knew it, the dreaded time had come to catch Disney’s Magical Express to the airport.
I will say this…Disney does a fantastic job at keeping the magic going all the way to the airport.
We made our plane and took the long journey back to LAX.
This has become a tradition for Brooke and I. Whenever we fly somewhere, our first meal back in LA is at In-N-Out.
Tuesday was a day of chores and getting ready to head back to reality. I was too tired to get up and get my run in early. So, I had to wait until the evening to get my run in. Here’s where I began to raise the bar. I’ve been itching to move from 3 to 4 miles on my week day morning runs. What’s kept me from doing so is the worry about how long it would take. Since I’m not a morning person, the thought of getting up earlier doesn’t appeal to me. Since I didn’t run in the morning Tuesday, it gave me the perfect chance to see exactly how long it would take. I was thrilled with the outcome. 4 miles in under 44 minutes!
The 4 mile route I worked out is a little different from my normal 3 miles. I start off with a first mile that’s either flat or uphill. It’s the most difficult mile because of that. When I finished the first mile in under 11 minutes, I knew I was onto a great run. As I huffed and puffed my way through that first mile, I kept telling myself that the second mile would be easier (because I knew it would be). Without having to switch my intervals, I was even able to finish 3 miles in under 32 minutes! Ah, the memories of my evening runs! The last half mile was a little slower. However, I finished in a time that made me very happy! It was nice to see a 10 at the front of my average pace again!
After taking Wednesday off, I was back out for an early morning run on Thursday. I viewed this as another test. It was my first attempt at 4 miles before work. Guess what? I was even a little faster! The first mile was either 5 or 10 seconds slower than Tuesday. However, it was still under 11 minutes. So, I didn’t worry too much. I love getting to run through Old Town Pasadena and by the place Brooke and I had our wedding reception! Even though the first mile was a little slower, I knew I was ahead of my pace over 2 miles by the time I finished the 2nd mile. Encouraged by that, I just kept going all the way to 4 miles. So, week one of running 4 miles in my mid-week runs was a raging success!
Saturday, I continued to challenge my previous bests. On Friday evening, I realized that there were a few things I needed to buy for my long run. So, I switched up my gym workout and my long run. If you look at my training calendar, you’ll notice that I’ve thrown a few Yasso 800’s to the schedule. I’m not entirely sure how those will turn out. So, I decided to up what I had previously done on the treadmill. My past efforts on the treadmill had me running 2 half mile intervals with a quarter-mile in between. Then, I’d finish with one final run interval of a quarter-mile. On Saturday, I pushed myself to finish 4 half mile run intervals with a quarter-mile walk break in between. The first two weren’t too challenging because I’d done this before. However, the third one, I could feel the challenge in the last quarter-mile. As I walked out my quarter-mile after that, I had no idea how my final half mile run would go. I told myself to try to see how it would go. Just like the third run interval, I was okay for the first quarter-mile and could feel the challenge over the last quarter-mile. However, I’m proud to say that I did them! Mission accomplished! This is another thing I’ve been mulling over for a little while. It felt amazing to finish these 4 x 400’s on the treadmill! I finished the rest of the workout as normal except the elliptical machine. I did feel a little more tired by the time I got there. After a minute, I called it a day. Part of the reason I didn’t push through was knowing what awaited me on Sunday.
After the gym workout, I was off to meet my parents for a Mother’s Day Dinner. Brooke was under the weather. So, it was jut me going to dinner with my parents. We had a lovely meal and time together!
Sunday morning, I headed off to Santa Monica Beach to take on 14 miles. I haven’t run at the beach in a while. Sunday was the perfect day to do so. The weather was gorgeous! The temps weren’t too warm and the sun was shining brightly. This is what it looked like when I began.
Before I talk more about the run, I need to preface it with the obstacles that presented themselves before I got to start. As I mentioned, I was supposed to do this run on Saturday. However, on Friday night, I realized that I needed to purchase Body Glide. A 14 mile run without it? No Buenos! I realized this too late to hit up the local running store. So, I headed off to 3 different sporting goods stores before I found some. I was gone a little more than an hour. It was freaking me out a little bit. I got home on the late side. However, I wanted to get those 14 miles in. So, I continued to lay out everything I’d need in the morning. As I laid out everything, I realized that one of my large water bottles had some mold in it! Gross! I couldn’t run with that. With 14 miles, I didn’t trust my smaller bottles. So, once I saw this, I decided to cancel running on Saturday and switch up my workouts for the weekend. I’d go to the gym on Saturday and run on Sunday.
So, Sunday morning, as I got things ready to go, I thought I had everything I’d need for the run. When I got to Santa Monica, I realized that I left my Cliff Bloks at home. It was starting to feel like this run was cursed and not meant to be. I did have Gatorade and Water with me. So, I decided to see how the run went with just the liquids.
I started the run with my 30 second run, 1 minute walk intervals. The first mile went well. However, my legs started feeling rather heavy in the second mile. So, at the end of that mile, I went with 30 second run, 90 seconds walk. That is what saved my run. No bloks, tired from the hard gym workout the day before, tired from the early morning wake up, I was ready to throw in the towel a few times during the first couple miles. The mantra that worked for me on this run was “You’re stronger than you think you are. Dig deep.”
Before I knew it, I was at my first turnaround point. I love the view here!
So, I had to get a quick selfie! I know it’s kind of cheating to stop the clock on a long run. However, I only stopped it for like a minute to get this picture. This was taken 4.77 miles into the run. I knew that, at this point, I’d have to get to at least 9.5 miles in for me to return to my car. My time was reasonable considering the intervals I was running. I even crossed the 5 mile mark in just under an hour! The trek back to the Santa Monica Pier has played games with me in the past. I was determined not to let it happen. This run/walk interval works really well for me and I was feeling pretty good with it for most of the trek back to the pier.
There is a running path called “the strand” on the other side of the Santa Monica Pier. By the time I got that side, I was at 9.5 miles. So, I knew I needed to run 2.25 miles on the strand and turn around to finish my run. I’ve run a mile up the strand before. So, the rest would be new to me. I’m not going to lie. There were a few points on those 2.25 miles that I wanted to turn around. The last half mile before I turned round there were some small climbs. Not cool for how tired I was feeling.
I did make it all the way to where I needed to turn around. That’s where I saw this guy. Any Baywatch fans out there?
I have not clue what beach this was where I turned around. However, it was nice to be running back. By this point, I was calculating how long it would take. I really wanted to finish in under 3 hours. With 2.25 miles to go, I was totally on track for this! The last 2.25 miles seemed to take forever. However, as hard as it was to maintain my run/walk intervals, I knew that I had to make it all the way to 14 miles no matter what. So, the more I ran, the faster I’d get there and the better I’d feel about myself.
One thing I was curious about is how long it would take me to get to the half marathon distance. I was about 5 minutes off my half marathon PR pace! Not bad considering how hard it was for me to even try to run. You know, when you run double digits, there are moments where you feel unstoppable and moments where you just want it to all be over. I was loving my pace for this run. Even though it pushed me, at times.
Shortly before the pier, I crossed the end of the 14th mile! You want to know how happy I am with this time? Over the moon! I would still like to be a little faster. However, after looking back at my previous double-digit run (the run over the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Course), this run is a huge improvement. The last run (12 miles), I finished around 7 minutes faster than I finished these 14 miles! Such a better run!
Running at Santa Monica, is always fun! I wore my LA Marathon shirt because the last time I was running in Santa Monica, I was in the last mile of the LA Marathon! In running 14 miles, 3 weeks before my next half marathon (Rock n Roll San Diego), I’m ahead of the schedule Jeff Galloway puts out. If I wasn’t in Walt Disney World the previous weekend, I would have run 14 miles then. With this half marathon training cycle, I’ve decided to take my training runs up to 16 miles (which I’ll do next weekend) for the mental benefits of going beyond the half marathon distance. I’ve heard Jeff Galloway talk about this and read it in his book. When I ran my current half marathon PR, I had a 15 mile training run the weekend before it. So, I decided to go a little further in this cycle to see if it helps. Time will tell.
So, there you have it, I’ve raised the bar with each workout this week! Additionally, I finally got back to a 4 workout week this week! Here’s to another week with 4 workouts….2 mid-week 4 mile runs before work, another 4 x 400 on the treadmill at the gym, and 16 miles on Saturday. Have a wonderful week everyone!