Back to 9!

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On March 20th, I ran 9 miles around the Rose Bowl as I was in, at the time, preparations for the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon. Here’s how it turned out…

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9 miles in 1 hour, 56 minutes, 37 seconds. What I didn’t know at the time was that my son had been born already and his birth parents were in the process of looking over potential couples to adopt him. Around 26 hours after this run had finished, Brooke got the call that would change our lives forever.

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This past Saturday, I finally made it back to finishing 9 miles! I decided to take it back to the Rose Bowl to see where I was at in comparison to the last time. This time around, I had to be up and out the door early as it was going to be a warm day. I knew I needed to complete the miles by 10am or it could reach 79 degrees…not fun. I set a plan knowing the possibilities of how Colton had been doing with bottle feedings. I knew that, if he was up before 5:45am, I’d give him his bottle and burp him. Then, the wife could change him while I ate breakfast to be out the door by 6:45 – 7am. That’s exactly how it worked out. He was up two other times as well in the night. But, I was prepared and determined to get my miles in.

I made it to the Rose Bowl a little after 7am and was off and running by 7:15am! This was fantastic. The first mile went a little faster than the last time I ran 9 miles. I felt okay in mile 1 with a run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. On this run, I had decided to just keep those intervals for the entire run. Making 9 miles was the goal. If I could beat my previous 9 mile run…bonus. Up until the last quarter-mile of mile 1, I was under a 12 minute mile pace. Unfortunately, I ended mile 1 at 12:07. However Mile 1 was better than the last time. So, I was pretty happy. Like the last time, Mile 2 was slower. However, I did finish mile 2 4 seconds quicker than the last time. Overall, I ended mile 2 around 24:32…14 seconds quicker than the last time. Mile 3 is where the recovery started kicking in. As I’ve noted many times, this course is largely uphill for mile 1, a little more uphill for the first half of mile 2, and then largely downhill with one climb in mile 3.  Surprisingly, I was actually slower in mile 3. However, I did finish mile 3 at 37:07. That left me at 12 seconds faster faster than the last time I ran 9 miles!

Last time I ran this route, it was mile 4 that did me in. Not so this time around. Sure, I could feel that incline kick in and the running get more difficult. However, I kept grinding away. Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds. I ended mile 4 at 50:18. Since I couldn’t remember what I did the last time at mile 4, I was okay with this. However, after looking over the stats, I should have been thrilled. I was 38 seconds quicker! For some reason, mile 5 was one I don’t remember much about. In mile 5, I kind of got lost in the run/walk intervals and thinking about other things. It’s kind of cool when that happens. This is the first mile where I ran slower than my previous 9 mile attempt. However, I ended the mile at 1:03:36…29 seconds faster than the previous 9 mile run! Mile 6 was another recovery mile and left me feeling good heading into mile 7. I really wish I knew my splits from the previous run better. At the end of mile 6 (this time), I was at 1:16:12…45 seconds faster than the last time!

It was in mile 7 that the wheels started to fall off in this run. The first quarter-mile of mile 7 went okay. However, towards the end, I started feeling the heat get to me a little. I made sure to take on some extra water and decided to skip one run interval to make sure I was okay. The skipped run interval and extra water did help out considerably. My legs were getting tired, but, at least I wasn’t feeling the heat. Yay! I also ended up shortening my run intervals from 30 seconds to 20-25 seconds to compensate as well. The result? I finished mile 7 at 1:30:25…4 seconds slower than last time. I carried these run/walk intervals into mile 8. I could feel the extra miles in my legs in mile 8. The legs felt heavy and all I wanted to do was finish. What got me to the end of the mile was the understanding that I would have to finish all 9 miles to get back to my car anyways. So, no matter how slow, I needed to finish. I ended mile 8 at 1:44:23…40 seconds slower than last time.

By the time I got into mile 9, I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t equal my time from the last 9 miles. I was okay with that. My new goal was to beat 2 hours and see how close I could come to the last 9 mile run. So, how did I do??

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I finished just 33 seconds slower than my previous 9 mile effort! Here are the splits…

062516 Splits

Considering that I finished these 9 miles after 3 bottle feeds and warmer temperatures, I’ll totally take it! Also, if not for miles 7 and 8 being so bad, I would have taken down my previous 9 mile time! As I got closer to the end of the run, I teared up a little bit. Why? I’m back to my pre-baby conditioning! It’s time to get back to running like normal!

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Last week, I didn’t write up a weekly workout wrap up for good reason. I only got one run in for the week. It was a very good run. 4 miles in around 48 minutes! It was a vast improvement over the last time I ran that same route where I was stoked to finish in just under 50 minutes.

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Last week, I got one run in during the middle of the week. Again, the quality of this run was high. It was my fastest 3 miles since becoming a daddy! I keep finishing my 3 mile route in under 36 minutes! I’ve shown myself that I can successfully switch to a run 30 seconds, walk 60 seconds in mile 3 after running the first two mile at run 30, walk 90 seconds. The result is faster times! I even finished mile 1 of this training run in 11 minutes, 50 seconds! I love getting faster!

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In addition to getting caught up with the training, in the past couple weeks, I got to celebrate Father’s Day as a daddy for the very first time. It was an awesome day where my parents came down for some time together with our little guy. Above are me, my boy and my dad. Happy Fathers day to all of us!

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This past weekend, Brooke and I got to take Colton to our favorite Mexican Restaurant…

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We love, love, love Peppers! One day, Colton will get to sample their food for himself. For this past weekend, it was enough for him to just be there.

 

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It’s been a crazy couple of weeks. The run of quality over quantity continues in my training. I know I need to get better or the quality will suffer. However, crossing the 9 mile mark again has my confidence in a good place again. To be honest, I was nervous about the 9 mile run. Could I actually run that far again after dealing with feeding an infant/newborn? The answer is YES! Up next? 11 miles this weekend (hopefully at the beach).

How is your training going?


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