I was so busy a week ago that I never got to give a proper recap for the week of Candlelight. So, I’ll do a real recap of the past two weeks.
The Monday before Candlelight, I made sure to get out and run. Since I wouldn’t have Thursday to run, I had to make adjustments. After running on Saturday and Sunday before this, I was wondering how it would all turn out. The previous Monday went well. So, I decided to alter my intervals back to the 45/45 in mile 1 and 3 with 45/75 in mile 2. This was a more normal pattern for the three mile route I run in the mid-week.
Mile 1 went really well. I finished in 10:38! The first mile felt fast for me as well. While I never know until I get to the end of the mile, I knew from the half mile mark that I would have a good first mile. When I heard that I had finished the mile this quick, I was super excited! Mile 2 was predictably slower. I walked more of it and I was going largely uphill. It was one of those miles where I just kept truckin’. As I got to the last 0.15 of the mile, I could tell that I was keeping it up. I knew I’d finish the mile somewhere in the 22 minute mark. It was just a question of where. When I heard that I was crossing the end of 2 miles at 22:23, I felt like a sub 33 minute day was possible. So, I switched back. This was a run where everything went well. My final time was 32:30! Great night!
On Wednesday, I decided to see what would happen if I didn’t switch my intervals at all. So, for this run, I would go 45/45 the entire distance. I was a little tired to begin the run, but still wanted to test myself. The first mile on this run was actually slower than on Monday. I finished the first mile in 10:43. I was happy that it was below 10:45 and was ready to get the experiment rolling. The result? I finished mile 2 at 21:31! That’s almost a minute faster than where I was at the end of mile 2 on Monday! I somehow survived the uphill mile with the same intervals! Mile 3 was not as fast as on Monday. However, it didn’t matter. I finished in 31:58! A sub-32 minute 3 mile run! I was thrilled! This one was a little hard, but the result left me very happy!
Thursday was the day of the Candlelight Dress Rehearsal at Disneyland! I love this rehearsal because it’s only our choir that sings. What is hard about this week, though, is that the rehearsal ends very late.
I took this picture at nearly 1am Friday. I didn’t get home from the rehearsal until around 2am. It threw my entire Friday off. I always take the day after the Candlelight dress rehearsal off from work. That allowed me to get a full 8 hours of sleep. However, waking up at 10am is so strange. I’m not used to it and the whole day was kind of a waste. I was supposed to go to the gym on Friday, or run 6 miles. I did neither.
Saturday was Candlelight at Disneyland! I added to that a dress rehearsal for my orchestra gig on Sunday. After a 9am rehearsal for my orchestra gig, a 2pm call time at Disneyland, and hanging out at the park until nearly 11pm, I headed home.
Sunday morning started with 6 miles around the Rose Bowl loop. I love running here! Due to the UCLA football schedule in the fall, I don’t get to run here nearly enough. The plan was to run 30, walk 90 seconds for miles 1 and 4. Then, I’d run 30, walk 60 seconds for the other miles. Miles 1 and 4 feature an incline. The other miles are largely flat and downhill.
I could tell that I was tired from all the activity of Candlelight week right from mile 1. My times weren’t horrible throughout this run. However, I was a little bummed that I wasn’t making up very much time in the easier miles in the loop. Here’s the breakdown of the times:
- Mile 1 – 12:36
- Mile 2 – 12:13
- Mile 3 – 12:22
- Mile 4 – 13:34
- Mile 5 – 12:38
- Mile 6 – 12:32
So, it was a solid effort. My finish time was 1:16:04. I’ve been faster and I’ve been slower. Since I didn’t make up as much time as I would have liked in miles 2 and 3, I considered just keeping the intervals at 30/90 for the last 3 miles. Glad I didn’t.
I was pretty tired after all the excitement and activity of Candlelight week. The week after was going to be a week of getting back to the regular routine…Running on Tuesday and Thursday in the mid-week, Saturday long run, and Sunday gym (or second long run). So, on Tuesday, I was out and at it again. Even though I was pretty tired, I decided to see if I could do another 3 mile run without making alterations to my run/walk intervals. It worked out so great on the previous Wednesday. So, why not?
Mile 1 was hard. I could feel that I was pushing hard. The finish time for mile 1 was 10:45! Even though I couldn’t remember what my time was in mile 1 of the previous Wednesday, I knew I was close. However, I was feeling more tired. I still pushed forward with the 45/45, but my second mile was much slower than the previous mid-week run. I finished the 2nd mile at 22:37. My thought at the end of that mile was being disappointed. I knew I was faster the previous Monday and I walked more. I would need another 3rd mile like the previous Monday to be under 33 minutes. So, I went for it. However, it just wasn’t in the cards. I finished the 3 miles in 33:37. It’s not a bad finish. However, I was faster the entire week before. So, I was a little bummed with the time. It was at this point where I knew I should have taken Monday off from work. The Candlelight week activity was just too much.
So, on Thursday, I decided to scale back a little. Then, as I left for the run, I could see that it was drizzling. I checked my phone to see that the rain wasn’t supposed to happen for another half hour and then continue through 10pm. So, I went back in and grabbed a jacket. You never know how much it will rain.
Since the ground was wet and I was still tired, I went with the run 30, walk 60 seconds in miles 1 and 3. Then, run 30, walk 90 seconds in mile 2. I had a big weekend of running coming up. So, I played it conservatively. I don’t get to run in the rain very often. For the first mile, it was a pretty steady drizzle. I finished mile 1 in 10:49. This was slower than Tuesday. However, considering my cautious running, I was okay with it. Mile 2 was better than Tuesday. I finished the second mile at 23:03! That was good news. The steady drizzle returned for mile 3. So, it wasn’t a very fast finish. My final time was 34:38. Slower than Tuesday. However, considering the conditions, I’ll take it.
Saturday, I decided to run in the We Run Social hat. I’ve seen others run in this hat. So, I knew it would be okay. I had 4 miles on the calendar. It was going to be sunny and cool…a great day to run! I loved that I could sleep a little longer than those hot summer runs and needed all the sleep I could get. Since this was my first time to run over my 4 mile route in a while, I decided to play with the intervals again and see what would happen. So, I’d run 30, walk 90 seconds for mile 1. Then, switch to run 30, walk 60 seconds the last 3.
As I look at the splits, it’s interesting that the walk 90 seconds doesn’t mean it will be your slowest miles. I had a pretty good mile 1 (11:35). I felt good about making the switch. Mile 2 is the most favorable mile as far as elevation on this route. So, I briefly thought of waiting on the switch until mile 3. Since this was a run I was viewing as experimental, I ended up making the switch. I finished the 2nd mile in 11:09 (total time at mile 2 – 22:44). Everything was feeling fine. Mile 3 is where I started slowing a little. I actually ended that mile 1 second slower than mile 1. Still, at 34:20, I was actually faster than Thursday! Predictably, mile 4 was slower. On this route, I know that this will happen. There is an upward elevation change in this mile with a couple small climbs. My finish time was 46:28! Any time I can keep a 4 mile run under 48 minutes, I’m happy.
Saturday night, Brooke and I headed off to watch my mom sing with her church choir’s Christmas program. We had fun watching the program. They ended the performance with singing the Hallelujah Chorus. Since I had sung it one week prior at Disneyland during the Candlelight Processional, the music was still fresh in my mind. So, I sang along. After the song, I had several people around me compliment my singing.
So, Sunday was supposed to be 12.5 miles. The Rose Bowl loop wouldn’t be an option because of a Flea Market. Last minute decisions don’t always work out great as I would learn. I decided to head off on a path that would take me to South Pasadena, up Orange Grove Blvd to see the Rose Parade bleechers, down Colorado Blvd., and a couple loops around my mid-week route.
I knew before I started that this route would be harder than I’ll face at the Star Wars Half Marathon. However, I really wanted to run by the bleachers. Mile 1 was pretty uneventful. I finished a little slow. Mile 2 was more of the same. Mile 3 is the mile I knew would be slow. There’s a half mile long hill in this mile. It’s brutal. It was a test for me of how far I’ve come. I’m proud to say that, of the 4 run intervals I had, I only couldn’t complete 10 seconds in one of those intervals! However, by pushing, it took a lot out of me. I crossed the end of the 3rd mile a little over 39 minutes. Mile 4 has another incline in elevation. However, it’s not as difficult as the incline is nowhere as steep. I was going slow and knew it. By the end of mile 4, I had reached the Tournament of Roses House (pictured above) at more than 52 minutes.
In mile 5, I finally got to the bleachers!
This is where many of the cameras will pick up the Rose Parade on January 1st.
I turned onto Colorado Blvd. and got some relief. I knew this part of the route would be favorable. The problem is that I was already pretty fatigued by the time I got here. The 5th mile is where everything started to unravel for me. Even though the route was easier, my legs were feeling heavy.
The first blow to me was the hill in mile 3. Next, the end of mile 5 was much farther away from the end of mile 4 than I was expecting. When I got back to my starting point for the day and was still in mile 6, I knew that I’d have to run more of a third lap of my mid-week route than I was expecting. I finished mile 6 in just over 1:25:00. I couldn’t remember the last time it took me that long to finish 6 miles. It was another blow.
I did keep pushing on. Those 90 seconds walk breaks were helping me out. Just not enough. I wanted to be in 8 as the hard mile of the loop. However, I was still finishing the 7th mile when the elevation began changing. I was starting to struggle to keep those 30 second run intervals. But, I was getting them done. Mile 8 took forever. As I made my way on the downhill portion of the loop and waited for the end of Mile 8 to finally happen, it became clear that I’d have to go farther in a third loop than I wanted to do.
When I got back to the apartment, I was at around 8.3 miles and it was over for me. I was very tired and not at all happy with my time…
I probably should have just gutted it out. However, the legs felt so heavy in the last mile. I was done. It’s a sad way to end the week. However, I know that this will not be my last long run before the Star Wars Half Marathon. I’ve still got a 14 mile run coming up on January 3rd. The good news? The next two weekends, I’ve only got to run 6 miles on the weekends. So, this gives me some time for my body to recover from all the craziness. My goal through the next couple weeks is to be recovered for those last long runs (Jan. 2 and 3). I’ve had good long runs since the Avengers Half Marathon. So, there’s no need to worry too much about this one.