Finishing My Pre-Avengers Half Marathon Training Strong

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My Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon Training Plan starts THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I enter this training cycle  in a really good place. I ended my training cycle to give me the confidence I can still so long distances with a solid week of running. I made all three workouts!

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It all started on Tuesday. In all honesty, this week was not a week of fast runs. I was feeling pretty worn out by the time I got to starting my run in the PM. However, the mantra for the week was to finish what I started and get ready for a real training cycle. So, since I was feeling tired, I decided to just use the run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds intervals for all three miles. I felt tired for most of mile 1. However, I hit every single run and walk interval as scheduled. I thought I might be able to pull out a sub 12 minute first mile. I finished mile 1 in 12:01. Oh well. Onward I went. As I look at the splits for this run, I’m actually a little surprised how well mile 2 went. It certainly didn’t feel that good. I finished this, the hardest mile of the loop, in 12:25. So, I entered mile 3, 26 seconds over the 12 minute per mile pace I had been beating. As I approached the end of mile 2, I did think about switching to the 60 second walk breaks for mile 3. However, by the time the mile actually started, I decided against it. After all, I’m actually training for a race. So, I decided to live with my slower time. Mile 3 was completed in 12:11. That left my finish in 36:46. Since I decided to keep the 90 second walk breaks throughout, it wasn’t too bad of a finish. At least I beat 37 minutes. So, I was slower, but not by that much.

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On Wednesday, I finished my last 3 mile mid-week training run in style! As you can see in the graphic, I did beat 36 minutes. I did feel better starting this run. So, before the run started, I made the decision to switch to 60 second walk breaks in mile 3. After all, I really wanted to beat my time from the day before. Mile 1 went soooooo much better. I beat my mile 1 time from the previous day by 10 seconds! I finished in 11:51. Let’s just say that it was a huge confidence booster. That got me off to a great start in mile 2. However, I think I did go out a little too fast. I could feel the tiredness of having back to back days of running. Where it was hurting my time was in my walk breaks. I actually finished mile 2 in 12:32. So, I was 7 seconds slower from the day before. That left me at 24:23…3 seconds faster over the first two miles from the day before. So, I had to make the switch if I wanted a finish time under 36 minutes. That’s exactly what happened. I saved the best for last…finishing mile 3 in 11:30. My final 3 mile mid-week run was finished in 35:57. It was a mere 3 seconds under that 12 minute per mile time. But, it was a great way to close out the mid-week pre-Avengers training!

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On Saturday, it was time to hit double digits again. I’m not gonna lie. I was a little nervous about this run. That’s why I had to take it to Santa Monica. This seems to be a favorite landing spot whenever I have 11 miles to finish on the calendar. What can I say? I love running at the beach. I really like this route. So, even though I had 2 bottle feeds overnight, I was off to Santa Monica at around 6:30am.

The run started in overcast weather. However, I knew the sun would come out by the end (and I was right!). Run 30 seconds, walk 90 seconds for 11 miles. That was the goal. That was the plan. In mile 1, I think I had some of the LA Leggers (LA’s running group) running with me and by me. A few of them had shirts that read “Run in Feet Dream in Miles.” I LOVED that! Mile 1 was my fastest mile at 12:02. As I got to the end, I was a little bummed because I wanted that first mile in under 12 minutes. When I realized that it wouldn’t happen, I thought back to my run on Tuesday. Both runs had a mile 1 in about the same time.

Mile 2 took me through Venice Beach. It’s always fun running through Venice. After all, it’s a such a colorful place! My pace slowed and that kind of bummed me out. Mile 2 started off with a near disaster. My right foot nearly rolled over in a hole on the route that I didn’t see. I must admit, initially it had me worried. I mean…how horrible would it have been to twist my ankle in my last pre-Avengers training cycle run. I was okay. However, that may have contributed to a slower 2nd mile. I finished mile 2 in 12:35. As I entered mile 3, any hopes of a crazy fast 11 mile run were gone. I reminded myself that this run was more about finishing than the tie it would take to do so.

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Mile 3 is not my favorite of this route because we leave the beach and head down this alley for a little more than a mile. It’s not very fun. However, it does give me land marks in which I try to get to with each run interval. It was in the alley that I lost connection with the LA Leggers. You can see a small group of them in this picture ahead of me.

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By the time I got here, I was at the mid-way point of the first out and back. It was 4.60 miles at this point. I decided to stop here to take on some Cliff Bloks. By this point, I was so far past any goal times that I wouldn’t think about time again until I got close to finishing. It was a good break to take and I enjoyed the views. As you see, it’s still pretty cloudy. Mile 5 was my slowest mile of the day (kind of surprising) at 14:29. I was back in the alley at the end of mile 5 and had to regroup. 5 miles in 1 hour, 5 minutes, 37 seconds put me over 13 minutes per mile. I recommitted myself to making this run about finishing all 11 miles and helped me out greatly. Miles 6 and 7 were faster by around a minute each!

Mile 8 was hard in my last 9 mile run and it was the same here. I thought about that as I fought my way through it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the “mile 9 is an easy mile” going for me this time around. It’s not uncommon for me to struggle once I get past Venice Beach on my way back. This time was no different. I was doing alright. However, each run interval kept coming up quicker than I felt like it should have come. That’s why these easy sounding intervals aren’t so easy when you keep them up for so long. As I look over the splits, I’m quite pleased that miles 8 and 9 were almost exactly the same. I finished mile 8 in 13:53 and mile 9 in 13:54. However, I wasn’t happy with finishing mile 9 at 2 hours, 21 seconds. My 9 mile run from 2 weeks prior fared better. However, I was only 2 miles from the finish. So, I just kept grinding.

Mile 10 took me past the Santa Monica Pier and out the other way. I don’t like this part as much. After all, I’m running on a narrow bike path (and the cyclists aren’t always great about sharing). I had to get to 10.25 miles before I could turn around and head back to the pier. Each run interval was getting harder. I worked harder to keep myself going. I thought about taking a run interval off several times. However, I’m proud to say that I powered through all the way to the end of mile 11!

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Here’s the final stats. I’ve been faster over this distance before. However, those times didn’t involve 2 bottle feeds and more sleep. This was my first time hitting double digits as a running daddy.

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As you can see, I was pretty happy when it was over! My training cycle to get ready for the Avengers Half Marathon training cycle was now in my rear view mirror. Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my thoughts about that cycle as I enter another one. I’m really happy to be entering a training cycle for a specific race! Bring on the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!

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Posted in running workouts, The Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon, Weekly Recap

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My Next Race
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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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