The Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend will be here soon enough. I’ve got 7 more weeks to prepare for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge. Training is going well and continued to go well on Thanksgiving Week!
On Monday, I made it three days in a row worth of running! I had no idea what to expect of myself. Running three consecutive days is not something I have done very much. So, when I went out, it was with a plan A and plan B. Plan A was to run the three mile mid-week run like a normal three miles. Run 45 seconds, walk 45 seconds for mile 1. Then run 45 seconds, walk 75 seconds for mile 2. I’d then switch back to the 45/45 for mile 3.
I was a little concerned when mile 1 took 11 minutes, 29 seconds. I felt a little slow. My time confirmed it. I was making it through all my intervals just fine. However, I was going slow for me. I decided not to worry about it and made the switch to see how it would go. Mile 2 took 11:42. I felt like I started to find a little bit of a groove in that mile. So, by the time I got to the start of mile 3, thee was no doubt…Run 45 seconds/walk 45 seconds and see how it would all turn out. Mile 3 was my fastest mile at 11:07. I finished in 34:27. That was a slow time for the intervals I was running. However, with this being the third straight day of running, I’ll take it!
On Tuesday, I had a regional rehearsal for the Disneyland Candlelight Processional. This is why I had to run on Monday. The rehearsal is our first with the Candlelight Choir Director. These rehearsals involve many different choirs that were selected to be part of the 600+ mass choir in the processional. It’s always interesting to see what different take Nancy ( our director) will have for us. This year, they even had fancy signs. So, I couldn’t help but grab a picture.
On Wednesday, I was back out and at it. I could have chosen to do this run on Thanksgiving. However, there was something in me that just wanted to spend the holiday resting. So, Wednesday night it was! I decided to go with the normal intervals again and see if I couldn’t avenge my slower run from Monday.
This was a better run right from mile 1. I felt faster and the time held up. I finished in 10:46! This was much better and right along with how had run with these intervals before. This was going to be a good run! Mile 2 was much slower than Monday at 11:56. The incline got to me a little. It’s okay. I was still ahead of my time from Monday after 2 miles. So, I made the switch again and headed into mile 3 with tons of confidence. Mile 3 was finished in 10:40! My fastest mile was still mile 3 and even faster than Monday! My overall finish time was 33:33! I love getting back to the 33’s!
I took both Thursday and Friday off to celebrate Thanksgiving twice. Thursday with my wife’s family and Friday with mine. Sorry there are no pictures. I wasn’t thinking about that during these visits. So, after two days off, I was out the door in the morning Saturday for 3 miles. If you’re training for the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, like me, you probably know that this weekend, we weren’t supposed to put in back to back long runs. With all the craziness of Candlelight of the following weekend, I switched the training runs up. I’m going to do a post on running in the holidays this week because I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
Southern California has finally seen the arrival of fall! That means that I don’t have to be up before the sun to run! On Saturday, it was in the low 50’s when I started. It’s been a while since I’ve run in such cold conditions. My feet felt like they were ice blocks for the first mile. This mile felt slow and was slow. 11:30 for the first mile. Now that I look back on the week, I guess it wasn’t as slow as it seemed. I had already decided to run 30 seconds, walk 60 seconds for the first and third miles. Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for the second. I just wasn’t feeling this run. The nice thing about this run, though, is that the first and third miles were pretty consistent. Mile 1 took 11:30 and Mile 3 took 11:32. Mile 2 was the slowest at 12:44. Total time for the run was 35:56. To keep myself under the dreaded 36 minute mark, I ended up cutting the last walk break short.
After the run, I decided to cancel the gym workout. I just wasn’t feeling it. I did go and see the movie Creed. It’s essentially the next Rocky movie that centers around Appolo Creed’s boy named Adonis (or Donny). If you’re a fan of the Rocky movies, this one does not disappoint. I could tell that they hoped this would be the launching of a new set of movies. Initially, I was hesitant to see this one. However, with all the Oscar buzz surrounding Sly Stallone’s performance, I had to see it. I loved the film and though both Sly Stallone and Michael B.Jordan gave wonderful performances. I am a fan of the Rocky movies. So, it worked for me.
I got home from the movie in time to catch the last quarter of the USC-UCLA game. I’m happy to say that the Men of Troy defeated those cubby bears of Westwood to win the Pac 12 South Championship and earn the right to play Stanford on Friday for the Pac 12 Championship! I did go back later and watch the rest of the game. USC has had a rocky season. So, to see it end up with a chance to play for the Pac 12 Championship and a possible Rose Bowl birth is awesome for me! Go USC! Fight On!
On Sunday, I went out for the second of my back to back long runs and finished 11 miles. After running The Strand the Sunday before, I headed off to Santa Monica this week. It was another day of cooler temps. So, I didn’t have to be out too early.
I decided to run the exact same intervals from the week before because they worked out so well. This week was no different. Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds strictly enforced is working out fantastic for me. It’s nice to have found a sweet spot again!
Anyways, the first mile was finished in 11:30. I started out at the Santa Monica Pier and headed towards Venice Beach. The first part of my run would have the sun in my face the entire way. It wasn’t as bad as that run up Ball Road on the Disneyland Half Marathon route. The fact that there was a cool breeze the entire way really helped me with the sun. I do love running the route and watch the beach cities waking up!
In mile 2, I could feel the slow down start. It wasn’t bothersome to me because my focus was on running every run interval exactly as planned all the way to 11 miles. I was wanting to see how fast or slow that would be with these intervals. So, even though the second mile took 12:32, leaving me at 24:02 for the overall time, I wasn’t going to let that freak me out. I just kept the intervals going. Mile 3 took 2 seconds less to finish!
Then there was a little GPS drama. At 3.73 miles, I lost the signal. Although, I didn’t notice this until probably the end of mile 4. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t paying attention to the distance until I got around 48 minutes. By 50 minutes, I realized the distance still said 3.73 miles. I decided to keep going to the normal turnaround point. After all, I knew it was roughly 4.75 miles at the turnaround.
I love this spot of the run! The sun was out and it was absolute beautiful day! After grabbing this pic, I stopped the watch and loaded up the Nike Plus App for the rest. So, the rest of the way I didn’t really have a total sense of where I was at with regards to time. I wasn’t also entirely sure that the turnaround was exactly 4.75 miles. It was somewhere between 4.70 and 4.75. So, I decided to add a little extra to the end of the run.
Because the GPS dropped, I don’t have exact times for the remaining miles. However, on my way back, I wanted to take a pic of the alley that I get to run down as part of this route. You see, the bike/walking path disappears at the Venice Beach Pier. So, I have to deviate back to this alley. The time in the alley is between one and two miles each way. It’s not exactly exciting to run this part. However, it’s what is necessary.
I kept the intervals going and was feeling strong. In my mind, I was taking the time as though I had finished on my watch at 59 minutes exactly. So, on the walk breaks, I’d occasionally figure out where I was. All signs pointed to me finishing 9.5 miles quicker than I did the week before. Sure enough, I did! That gave me a huge boost of confidence. I not only beat the time, but was at least 3 minutes faster. Again, since I wasn’t exactly sure about the turnaround being exactly at 4.75 miles, I couldn’t be sure.
Shortly after crossing what I was believing the 9.50 mile mark, I was at the Santa Monica Pier again. So, that meant another out and back to finish the final 1.5 miles. With each run interval, I was surprising myself at how good it felt. Yes, I was still huffing and puffing. But, I was completing each run interval!
I finished back at the pier and it was a fantastic time for me! I had decided to run to 6.30 miles in order to make up for the difference between what I thought was 4.75 miles and what it actually was. After crossing 6.30 miles, I stopped the app and started to calculate the final finish time. 2:23:08! I was hoping to finish this run in 2 hours, 30 minutes. So, beating that time felt amazing! Also, this time puts me right in where I want to be. For the Star Wars Half Marathon, I’ve set the goal of setting a new runDisney Half Marathon PR with a sub 3 hour half marathon. What I loved about this run is that I felt like I could keep these intervals going at the end. This gives me lots of hope that, come race day (with all the distractions), I’ll pull off that sub 3 hour half!
After 3 weekends with back to back long runs (Infinity Gauntlet Challenge, 2 miles/9.5 miles, 3 miles/11 miles), I’m looking forward to a week with a short 6 miles this coming weekend! Additionally, I’m stoked that I’ve finished my 4th consecutive week of finishing 4 workouts/runs in a week! This is the norm I’m striving for. So, even though it’s worth celebrating, I know the celebration shouldn’t be too big. As I’ve read the blogs of so many other runners, I realize how important it is to make weeks of 4 workouts a norm rather than the exception. Missing workouts is something I’m wanting to be a thing of the past. The results of consistency are too amazing to pass up!
It’s Candlelight Week Y’all! I know that they have Candlelight at EPCOT every day between Thanksgiving and New Years. At Disneyland, it’s only on ONE weekend. That weekend is this one! I’ll be singing on Saturday at the first show. Gena Davis will be the narrator for Saturday only. So, if you have the time in this busy Christmas season and can make it out to Disneyland, come by check out the show! For those of you who don’t know, the Candlelight Processional has been performed at Disneyland since 1958. Yes…1958. It was originally considered Walt Disney’s Christmas Card to the city of Anaheim. I’m so excited that this week is finally here! I love singing the Candlelight Processional program! This will be my 8th year singing with the Disney Cast Choir in the “Living Christmas Tree.” Prior to that, I got to sing in the processional 3 other years with the choirs at Azusa Pacific University. It’s a great program and different from the one at EPCOT. So, if you haven’t seen the Disneyland version and can’t make it out, here is the entire program from last year.
This video starts right at the beginning of the show (minus the processional). I hope you enjoy!