17 Miles! – Welcome Back to Marathon Training

Whenever you cross the 15 mile mark on a long-run, it’s officially a marathon sized training run. The highlight of my week was finishing 17 miles again. It was slow on a very warm day, but it was 17 miles. It was a welcome back to marathon running for me. But, let’s first look at other two runs of the week.


On Tuesday evening I got out for 3 miles around the apartment. This running at night thing is working for me. The temperatures are warmer. So, it’s harder to get a good time. However, I got out to see how it would go. The results were pretty good. On my first run in the evening on this route, I finished in 33 minutes, 39 seconds. This was my second time running this route in the PM and my time was faster! I finished in 33 minutes, 22 seconds! I know that the change in time is not earth-shattering. However, faster is faster. This run was a hard one. The legs felt heavy and my breathing was horrible. Lots of huffing and puffing. However, I found a way to finish. So, that’s good.


On Thursday, I got even faster over the same route! Yep, this night-time running is working well for me. The finish time was 33 minutes, 6 seconds. I was pushing hard throughout the run and I could see the difference consistency is makes. The very first mile was fantastic. I could tell I was rounding into better form. I was getting back to the times I was seeing before Rock n Roll San Diego. By the end of mile 2, I felt ready to switch to the 1 minute run/1 minute walk intervals for my last mile. I really wanted a sub 33 minute 3 mile run. However, I fell just short of that. It felt great, though, knowing that I had gone faster.


On Saturday, I had 17 miles on the calendar. If you’ve been following along, you know that I didn’t make a 15 mile run and my 13 mile run wasn’t very good. So, I was very nervous about this run. 17 miles is scary. This is my 3rd full marathon to train for. On my training for the Los Angeles Marathon, I didn’t even finish all 17 miles on the day I was supposed to. That day, I had a GPS failure that contributed to the miss in miles. When I had 17 miles on the training for the Walt Disney World Marathon, I ran out of liquid a little more than 13 miles into the run and it cost me dearly. So, 17 miles is scary.

Since there was an event going on at the Rose Bowl, I decided to take my 17 miles to somewhere new. I headed off to Redondo Beach to run “The Strand” along the beach. The Strand is a place I’d read about as one of the most beautiful places to run in Los Angeles. I love running at the beach and thought it would be cool to see a different beach.


After circling around for a bit to find a place to park, I finally found a place where I could even park for FREE! Yep. Free parking by the beach. Then, I headed off to find a place to start. It was a beautiful day for a run. Even though the temps were a bit on the warm side. It was already in the 70’s when I started.


At the start of my run, I got to run by these boats. I was really digging the vibe of this new running location. There were lots of runners, walkers, skate boarders, roller bladers, and cyclists out and about. Sometimes I have to wonder how my life would be different if I lived closer to the beach. The area I started off was like this boardwalk looking area. Once I got outside of the boats area, there was sidewalk for the runners and a cordoned off area for cyclists that was separate from the road for cars. Everything was feeling pretty good in the first mile. As I went along, I was looking for where I might eat afterwards. After all, the plan was to run 8.5 miles and turn back. So, an out and back plan. I knew I’d finish back here. So, it made sense to find a place that I could have lunch while I was going along.


By the start of the second mile, I had made my way to the path that runs along the beach. There is a bike path that is on the actual beach and a walking path that runs in front of the multi-million dollar beachfront homes. The second mile wasn’t too bad. I was not having too much trouble keeping my run/walk intervals and I was enjoying being out with everyone else. There were a lot of people playing beach volleyball. It looked like there were some tournaments going on. As you can see in the picture above, there was plenty of shade to help keep the temperatures cool enough.


The third through fifth miles saw a steady incline in elevation. The steepness of the elevation wasn’t a big deal. There were only a few parts of the route where you could even see that you were going uphill. However, I could feel it as I ran. The shade above would only last through the end of mile five. This is where The Strand came to an end. There’s a bike path that runs along the beach that goes much further North. I needed to make it to 8.5 miles before I could turn around. So, I ventured on.


Although you can’t see it in this picture, but I was getting close to LAX Airport. Of course, I wouldn’t actually see the airport. However, when I was planning the route, I noticed that the end of some of the runways were not too far away from where I was running. By the time I got to this point, I could see the airplanes taking off. That was a nice distraction for a while. The planes kept getting closer and closer. It was also by this point that the sun started bothering me. There was NO SHADE at all. By the time I got here, I’d been in the sun for somewhere between 1-2 miles. By the time I got to 7.5 miles, I decided to stop at a restroom to put some water over my head to help cool me down. Wouldn’t you know it? The sinks were not running. So, I tried to use the drinking fountains. That didn’t work too well. So, I took about a 5 minute break in the shade of the restroom. It sounds weird. But, it totally helped.


I kept going. Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. I took in liquids every 1.5 miles and a Cliff Shot Blok every 30 minutes. I was making it through. Finally, I got to the 8.5 mile mark and stopped to mark the occasion. I’m actually surprised that I lasted this long with only missing one run interval. The sun was taking its toll on me.


As I headed back, I got right back in to the run/walk intervals and told myself that I just needed to get to 12 miles and I’d get back to that wonderful shad I enjoyed for my first 5 miles. The longer I went along, the worse I started feeling. When you’ve got lots of time to think about things, your mind can take you to crazy places. I started to worry about things like heat stroke and other heat related issues. Those worries overtook me in the 10th mile. I decided to walk it out until I got back into the shade. I knew that would hurt my overall time. However, it was what kept me moving forward.


Along the way back, I could take some more photos of things I saw on my way out. Like this hang glider. There was someone giving hang glider lessons.


This was the first stretch of the bike path I was on once I left The Strand. I kind of like the waves that are carved into the wall.


The great part of the sun being out was that the Pacific Ocean sparkled the entire way!


By the time I got back to the strand, I was pretty bummed to see that all the shade I enjoyed in the first 5 miles was gone. This picture is the only shady spots I’d see before I finished. Yep. That’s it.


I tried to put on a smile and pretend like I wasn’t wilting in the sun. However, once I saw that the shade I was waiting on was gone, it crushed my hopes of running again. By this point, I was just going to walk it out. I was worried about dehydration and the sun was playing games with me.


In Manhattan Beach, there was some sort of volleyball tournament going on.


I passed this guy at the Hermosa Beach pier on the way out and wanted a picture then. So, since I was on a pretty slow finish time anyways, I stopped for a picture on the way back. Honestly, that last few miles were just painful. The sun was so strong and I couldn’t run anymore. So, the miles were taking longer to complete. The good news is that I finished the first 13 miles faster than I had finished the same distance about 4 weeks ago! So, that was good. However, I just wanted it to be over with. I was hungry and tired of being in direct sunlight.


Finally, in front of Ruby’s…


I finished 17 miles! It shouldn’t have been this slow for me. However, the sun literally beat the fight out of me. I spent 12 of those 17 miles in direct sunlight with almost no shade at all. That’s a long time y’all. By the time I finished, the temps were in the 80’s. So, it was rather warm out there. I loved when the ocean breeze would kick in and I’d hate it when it would go away. It was like going from air conditioning into a heater in a matter of 1 second.


Getting inside Ruby’s was heavenly. This glass of water disappeared in a matter of seconds.


And I was back to being happy! To be honest, I can’t help but wonder if I was slightly dehydrated by the time I finished. I didn’t have any headaches or dizziness, or anything like that. However, the way I went through water at Ruby’s indicated to me how much I needed them. It was good to be in air conditioning as I came off this run. The bad news? I’d have around a mile walk to get back to my car.


Afterwards, I wandered around and took a few pictures because it was such a cool place to be.


And then, it was time to head off to my car to head back home. I loved running The Strand and would encourage anyone to run this place if they are in the Los Angeles area. When I was on The Strand, there were lots of people out and about. So, the energy was pretty good for a training run. The views of the Pacific Ocean were stunning at times. The Strand walkway is perfect for running. The pathway is well maintained…no cracks in the sidewalk or potential hazards. If I had merely wanted to run 10 miles, I wouldn’t have faced the same sun related problems and been on The Strand the entire time. I think if I had run 10 miles, this would be a very different experience. This might just be my new favorite place to run!


As a reward for going all 17 miles, I took in Ant-Man Saturday evening. I know I could have seen it without doing any running. However, I decided I could only see this movie if I did all the miles on my calendar. It was a great way to end my Saturday! This is a pretty different kind of Marvel movie. I loved every minute of it! This movie is sooooooo funny. I don’t want to give anything away. However, I do give the movie two thumbs waaaaaaaay up!


I know that I haven’t covered my long runs in great detail on a Monday recap this summer. However, I’m doing do because on Wednesday, I want to tell you all about the charity I’m running with for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Since I’m limiting myself to 3 posts per week, it didn’t fit to cover the 17 miles any other day. I must say, though, it was good to get this long run out-of-the-way. I feel like my training is coming back into focus. When you go for 17 miles (even with all the walking), it reminds you how long a marathon really is and how important it is to keep your training going strong. This run could have been better if my 13 mile run went better and I actually did a 15 mile run. They all build on each other. Each run has its purpose.

Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend All-Medals

This week, I’ve got to hit both of my 3 mile runs in the middle of the week. On Saturday, I’ve got 7 miles with one of those miles being a Magic Mile. I haven’t done one of those in quite some time. So, I’ll be interested to see how it goes. The following week, I’m planning on upping my mid-week runs to 4 miles. Then, I’ll run 4 miles that Saturday and 20 miles on Sunday. The Dumbo Double Dare is coming up soon. So, I want to complete a couple back to back runs in training. I’m not doing this the way Jeff Galloway has outlined because I’m training for a marathon and not the Dumbo Double Dare specifically. I still have high hopes that the Disneyland 10K race (the first leg of the Dumbo Double Dare) will become my new 10K PR race and the Disneyland Half Marathon (the second leg of the Dumbo Double Dare) will be a new runDisney half marathon PR race for me. If I stay consistent in my training, both of these are possible. I’ve only got 2 of the back to back long runs in the calendar. The first of them will be the toughest (4 miles Saturday, 20 miles Sunday). We’ll see how it goes.

Slide1If runDisney holds to form, we should be getting our final race instructions for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend next week! So, be on the lookout. The final instructions will contain all the important information you’ll need for the weekend…including your bib number and corral placement. So, if you’re coming out to Disneyland to race on Labor Day Weekend, the first full week of August is the week you should see those final race instructions!

Sorry for making this post so long. Sorry for looking a few weeks into the future. However, there is so much going on and I’m getting really excited for everything. Marathon training is in full gear right now! It’s time to go All In! What race (or races) are you training for? How is the training going? How do you deal with the heat of summer training?

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Posted in Chicago Marathon, Disneyland Half Marathon, running workouts
9 comments on “17 Miles! – Welcome Back to Marathon Training
  1. I’m training for Dopey and Rebel Challenge. I’ve been dreading July and August runs, because the weather is so miserable. I’ve taken to running after the sun sets to help mitigate the heat, but that’s not always practical with the longer runs. I also run with one of those cooling towels (like the Enduracool in those TV ads) that helps a lot to keep from over heating, and I don’t have to worry about the availability of sink/water fountains to cool down my head (there is only 2 bathrooms and 1 water fountain along or near my route)

    • gloucks7 says:

      Thanks for the endorsement of the Enduracool towels. I was actually thinking about them while I was on my run Saturday. I may have to purchase one to help me through the 20, 23, and 26 mile runs. All three are likely to be warm to hot days. Good luck with training for Dopey and the Rebel Challenge.

  2. dianed999 says:

    I am just trying to get my miles up. I have a 15K on Thanksgiving and then I am hoping to do Surf City Half in February. I ran 9 miles on Sunday and it was tough. I didn’t start until 7. By mile 5 I was pretty much done. I have a very bad habit of needing to get the miles in no matter what. I kept hearing Jeff Galloway in my head saying just walk the rest of the way. But my thinking is, if I walk it will take me longer and I just want to be done. I ended up walking up the hills in the last 2 miles and in the last mile I changed my interval from run 1 walk 30 to run 30 walk 1. I took a 2 hour nap yesterday, lol.

    • gloucks7 says:

      I can’t tell you how many times I thought of Jeff Galloway saying to just walk it to the finish on Saturday. We’ve all got to just find a way to get it done. There is a method to Galloway’s madness. The thing I think about is how, when we train, we are training both mentally and physically. So, completing the miles, no matter how slow, no matter how much we walk, is good mental practice at being able to finish.

      Good luck with Surf City. I am seriously bummed that I won’t be running that race in 2016. It’s one week before the LA Marathon. So, the timing just doesn’t work out. I’m out to avenge my time from the LA Marathon this year. So, a 13.1 mile run one week before the run isn’t a good idea.

  3. Great scenery despite all of the heat! Good for you for getting those miles done despite the conditions.

  4. the run looks great! I was planning originally to go to the beach on saturday to run but couldnt because of a party my friend was having in culver city-the back and forth would have been too much.

    Saturday was rough weather-I got in my 11 miles by slowing down and taking as many walk breaks as needed. I was fine int he shade but once i got out of it, it was mighty warm

  5. […] be much longer and I cut it short. My last scheduled 17 mile run that I actually completed was on July 25, 2015…again for Chicago. So, it would be great to do those distances just to prove to myself that I […]

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Official PR’s
5K - 32:46 - 2012 Pasadena 5K

10K - 1:15:42 - 2013 Pasadena 10K

Half Marathon - 2:43:25 - 2013 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon

Full Marathon - 6:21:46 - 2014 Walt Disney World Marathon
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