Hello 2017! On January 1st, I decided I needed to do a big run. December 2016 was not even close to being a good month for training (as I mentioned in my last post of 2016). I couldn’t believe how few miles I actually ran. I’m supposed to be training for a full marathon. This is simply not acceptable. So, I spent some time on December 30 and 31st to see if I could put in some training cram sessions and somehow still be ready for the 2017 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. Y’all, I’ve mapped a way to do it. However, I’m not entirely confident at this moment that I will be running that race. 26.2 miles is a long distance to cover and I respect that distance. While I won’t make the call about whether I’m running right now, by the end of February, I’ll know enough to make the right decision (whatever that may be). Here’s the schedule I worked out…
Okay, week 1 is a bit off. I didn’t actually run on Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday. As I thought this through, I could have gone to the gym and start my year off with a gym workout. I could have attempted to start with 15 miles as my first run in a few weeks. However, the thing that made this first run of 2017 actually fun is what I did. For January 1st, I decided to tackle 11 miles (not the 10 listed in the graphic above). I realized 15 miles in my first run in a few weeks was simply too much. Heck, I thought 11 was pushing it (and I was right). But, I mapped out this really fun run that took me 11 miles. So, off I went.
I headed up the street I live off of up to Orange Grove Blvd. I wanted to pass by the Tournament of Roses House. I also wanted to see all the work that was going on in preparation for the 2017 Tournament of Roses Parade (held on January 2nd because January 1st fell on a Sunday). I knew that mile 1 had a lot of uphill to it. However, it was mile 1, so I went with a run 20 seconds, walk 40 seconds intervals for miles 1 and 2. As I ran, it felt amazing to be out and running again! I was going much better than I thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I was pushing a bit. However, I knew that, once I got close to Colorado Blvd., I’d enter the fun zone for me…the parade route!
On January 2nd, there would be lots of people in these seats! It’s kind of fun running around the bleachers.
As I approached Colorado Blvd., I came to the area where the television crews were setting up for their coverage. If you watch the Rose Parade on television, this is where the cameras are!
Under the set of bleachers I just photographed, is this fun tunnel to run through!
It’s not every day I get to run through this kind of thing. So, it was so much fun. I was keeping the run/walk intervals going. However, the distractions and picture taking did take its toll on my time. No worries. This run was about getting the miles in and reminding myself how much fun running can be!
Through the tunnel, I came to the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. Apparently, this is where the NBC crew will be broadcasting from.
Here are the bleachers across the street. I kept going down Orange Grove Blvd. past the parade route on my way to the Rose Bowl and the Rose Bowl loop. I have run the loop on the day or two before the Rose Bowl before. So, I thought it would be open. Since I didn’t check ahead of time, it was kind of an adventure to see if the loop was open. Guess what? It was!
I love the run into the Rose Bowl loop. Coming out of the loop is not as fun. It’s always more fun running downhill than running uphill. By the time I got into mile 3, I was running 25 seconds and walking 1 minute 35 seconds. I knew the first mile of the loop is a little difficult and I didn’t want to waste energy on this fun run. Getting down to the Rose Bowl loop, I had to skip a run interval because there was this long line to get into see the Rose Parade floats. The run 25 seconds, walk 1 minute, 35 seconds was working amazing! I felt amazing while running these intervals! The Rose Bowl loop is one of my favorite places to run. With the Rose Bowl one day away and all the excitement made it even more fun. As I started the loop, I was around all the craziness. However, once you get back to the golf course behind the Rose Bowl stadium, if felt like a normal run around the Rose Bowl loop.
I kind of love running the loop and thought I should get a picture of this part of my 11 mile run. This is on the back half of the loop.
Once I got back by the stadium, all the signage for the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game started showing up. Fun times!
As I made my way back towards the front of the parking area, I saw some of the USC Trojans “Spirit of Troy” Marching Band!
As I got to the front part, I realized the time had come to stop the watch and have some fun with the camera. I love all the signage!
The words used on these signs include Passion, Strength, Tradition…
It wasn’t enough to get a pic with the Rose Parade sign. I had to get one with the Rose Bowl Game sign as well. Fight On!
As I made my way back to where I stopped the watch, I noticed the USC Marching band was on the move.
So, I had to investigate. I love, love, love the USC Marching Band. As a kid, I dreamed of one day playing my trumpet in this band. Sadly, it didn’t work out. However, I still love hearing the sounds of the Spirit of Troy in all their glory!
I started walking up to the entrance to the Rose Bowl and found the official merchandise booth.
I’m all about the USC Trojans! Fight On!
Since I got close enough, I had to take the selfie with the famous Rose Bowl sign in the background.
Yep..I love running here. Even moreso the day before the big game!
I don’t know who rode on these buses. However, I like to think that the football players for Penn State University is who rode these buses.
I was on a walk break when I stopped the watch. So, I walked across the street from where I stopped the watch and started going again. It didn’t last long. Last year, I got a pretty cool picture here. I don’t this one turned out as good.
I trotted up a little bit to get a picture inside one of the tents where they were working on Rose Parade floats.
The sidewalk I was on came to a complete stop as they were backing this float off onto the road. So, I had to grab a pic.
Right ahead of that float was another one! I was having too much fun! I knew the big climb was coming up. The crowds were a bit crazy as I started going up. Once I cleared the main crowd, I did get back into regular run/walk intervals. I could have just walked up this crazy hill. However, I decided to see what I had in me. I completed all of the intervals up the hill and back onto Orange Grove Blvd.! From there, I made my way back to Colorado Blvd.
Here’s another view of the corner of Orange Grove Blvd. and Colorado Blvd. This is where the parade makes its first turn and all the television cameras are located.
If you were in the parade, you might see the above in the television area.
Again, it was fun running through the bleachers!
KTLA is the station I usually watch the parade on. It’s about 15 minutes from the time the floats or other performers in the Rose Parade get here to the time it gets close to where I live. So, I usually watch the coverage until I see something I want to see in person. Then, I head out the door.
All the way down Colorado Blvd., I was seeing the people who were staking their spot to watch the parade on the boulevard. It was fun to see how each party was getting their spots saved. One thing that made running through Colorado Blvd. fun was the people who would cheer me on as I ran or give me a high five!
As much fun as I was having, around 7.5 miles in, I got my first twinge in the lower calf. Darn! Unlike the Avengers Half, I could run through this one. The twinges weren’t happening with any regularity until the start of the 9th mile. Then, I’d get the twinge at 23 or 24 seconds of running. I had to laugh a little at this because it was like my lower calf was telling me my run interval was over. Time to walk again! By the time I hit 8.5 miles, however, I got the twinge on a couple walk breaks in a row. It was right around where I took this last picture above. Getting the twinge on a walk break kind of freaked me out. So, I decided to just walk out the rest of the run.
While I was bummed that I walked most of the last 2.5 miles, I was happy to finish double digits for the first time since the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon!
My finish time left a lot to be desired. However, this run was about getting out again. I knew I was pushing myself to try for 11 miles after time off from running. I mean look at that…1 other run in the past 30 days.
As you can see, I’m quite a bit off from what I would ideally like to be for the 2017 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon. I’m off at every single check point. If I had been training regularly through December, I would be quite bummed with this performance. However, I haven’t been working out very much in December. So, I’m totally okay with how this run shaped out.
I still need to figure out this twinge thing. For this run, I switched back and forth between the Black Cherry Cliff Shot Bloks and the Margarita Cliff Shot Bloks. I did so because I’ve never used the Margarita flavored Bloks before. I didn’t want to be out on this run and feeling screwed because I didn’t like the taste of the new flavor. As luck would have it, I loved the flavor! So, next weekend, I’ll be attempting 15 miles and will go mostly with the Margarita Bloks. I will also try out carrying pretzels in case the twinge comes back. I can take some pretzels, walk about a half mile, and see if I can get back to run/walking. We shall see.
If you look at my schedule, you’ll see that the next three weeks are pretty intense. I’ve got a 15 mile long run, the Star Wars Rebel Challenge, and a 17 mile run on the next 3 weekends. It’s at 17 miles that the Jeff Galloway plan gives two smaller long runs before upping the distance. I can only take one smaller long run between upping the distances after I get to 17 miles. 2 years ago I struggled in January with my training for the 2015 LA Marathon. Once I finished the 20 mile long run, my whole mentality changed. Hopefully, I’ll see the same once I get there. For now, I was happy to be back at double digits and running again. 2017 is off to a fantastic start!