There are less than 4 weeks until the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon happens and I’ll be earning this medal! It’s crunch time y’all. The month of September was not a stellar month for my training. So, I’m under the gun to get in good runs between now and race day. This week saw some improvement and my longest run as a daddy! Let’s look at how the week turned out.
On Tuesday, I headed out for another 3 miles with my run 20 seconds/walk 40 seconds intervals. As time goes along, I’m getting more comfortable with this interval! My times keep getting faster and faster as well!. On Tuesday, I finally got my time under 36 minutes on the Garmin! I’m not sure whether the Garmin or the Nike Plus are correct. So, I’m going with the more conservative time. Getting under a 12 minute per mile pace over 3 miles is a huge confidence booster for me!
Here are the splits for this run. It wasn’t a spectacular start. However, I was happy with how mile 1 went on this run. Plus, I’m looking at the Nike Plus app while running. So, it’s always hard to gage how I’m doing on the Garmin. I do check the watch when I’m stopped at a traffic light to see how the time and distance are different. It is good to keep me going and not merely trust what I’m seeing on my Nike Plus app. I think that the victory of this run was mile 2. This mile is always the hard mile for the route because of elevation gain. So, to get to the end of the second mile only 24 seconds slower than the 12 minute per mile pace I want was awesome. I knew I could make up that time and I did! As you can see, mile 3 was my best mile. Finishing in under 36 minutes felt absolutely amazing!
On Thursday, I was a little tired heading out. I thought of skipping the run all together. I’m so glad I didn’t! Why is it that our mind likes to play games with us like that? There are so many times I’ve gone out for a run or workout while feeling “too tired” to try and end up with a great workout or a great finish time running. Geesh. I keep trying to remind myself that, even if the time is slow, I need to get out and run. As I’m now in these last weeks before the big race, I can’t afford to skip a single run. They all matter.
As you can see, my splits were so much better on Thursday. I used the same run/walk intervals. Right from mile 1, this run felt better than Tuesday! Being 16 seconds under 12 minutes felt amazing! I knew I’d give time back on mile 2 but could make up for it on mile 3. So, I kept plugging away through mile 2 and was only 7 seconds over the 12 minute per mile pace. Since I had finished in under 36 minutes on Tuesday where I had to make up 24 seconds, I was very confident that I’d finish even faster on Thursday. I was right. I was more than 30 seconds faster than Tuesday!
On Saturday, I was supposed to go out for my 13 miles. However, I wasn’t feeling up to it and needed the extra sleep. So, I went out on Sunday instead. Y’all, this is a run I’ve dreaded. At 13 miles, it would be my longest run as a daddy and my longest run since January (the Star Wars Half Marathon). Two weeks before this, I drove out to Redondo Beach to do this run and realized (after I arrived) that I forgot my headphones. It may seem like silly reason to some to cancel a training run. However, on these long runs, I NEED my music. I was bummed because I knew it likely meant that I would not get a 17 mile training run in, like the Galloway Plan called for. I think part of the reason I let myself cancel that run is that I was feeling a little intimidated. After all, the 13 miles would give me a good idea of how fast I was over the half marathon distance. What if I had a horrible run? How would I handle it? I faced these same questions on Sunday. I was tired from that early morning feeding of Colton. I was trying out the run 20 seconds, walk 40 seconds run/walk intervals. I had a lot of nerves.
I’m not going to lie, this run was a big time mental and physical battle. Tomorrow, or Thursday, I’ll post about this run with more details. For today, I’ll say this…the run/walk intervals I used worked pretty well for nearly 10 miles. In the 10th mile, the wheels started to fall off this run. I was feeling gassed. Then, in mile 11, I tried to run and cramped up again in my lower calf. Lesson learned is that I probably need to bring along some pretzels for my long runs. So, I walked pretty much the entire last 3 miles of this training day. To finish 13 miles in 3:04:14 with walking most of the last 3 miles, is pretty good for me. This run taught me that a 2:30:00 half marathon at Avengers is probably not going to happen. However, I still have some hope of PRing Avengers. What remains to be seen is if it’s a new Half Marathon PR or a new runDisney Half Marathon PR. My current runDisney Half Marathon PR is 3 hours even (set at the 2013 Disneyland Half Marathon). The current Half Marathon PR is 2:43:25 (set at the 20136 Rock n Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon).
Where does this confidence come from? Well, I went into this run not knowing how I would hold up with this new run/walk interval. It was a cause of the big mental battle for the whole run. How long could I hold up for? How I would I feel once I couldn’t keep it up? Every hill I ran up, I thought about just walking. I did that with two small hills. The others, I was able to get out the entire run interval! At the end of 11 miles, I was 2:28:24. On September 10th, I ran 11 miles at Santa Monica Beach. On that day, I finished in 2:33:03. So, on Sunday, I finished nearly 5 minutes faster! See! Progress!
I saw this guy in the marina area in Redondo Beach. Progress is a good thing!
In less than 4 weeks, I’ll be coming to the finish line of this training cycle. After finishing all 13 miles, I have a lot more confidence about finishing the Avengers Half Marathon as a running dad. The only thing that remains to be seen is how fast I’ll finish….Oh, I almost forgot….be on the lookout. The folks from runDisney put out their event guide and corrals for the 2016 Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend on Monday. So, the event guide for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon should be out really soon! Along with the excitement over seeing your corral seeding is the release of the new Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon course. I can’t wait to see what the new course looks like! I hope this is a winning course for runDisney as the runners have greatly disliked the previous two years. I hope this course will lead me to a new half marathon PR!