Finding My Groove in Week 5 of Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon Training!


Week 5 was the start of Phase 2 in this half marathon training cycle. It’s the week where I can begin to tighten the screws on this training. After laying a foundation in the first 4 weeks, it was time to build on that. My week didn’t get off to the best start, but finished strong. Let’s look.


Unfortunately, on Monday or Tuesday, I did not get a run in. Brooke and I received the news that we could move back into our apartment on Sunday night. With work happening on Monday, we decided to stay at my in-laws until Tuesday. So, Monday night, I needed to begin bringing our stuff back to the apartment. Then, on Tuesday, we finished the job after a wonderful meal with Brooke’s parents. So, all that meant no running.


My first run of the week did not go well. There weren’t any major physical problems. I may have been worn out from all the moving around with our living situation. Who knows? But, for whatever reason, this run was a really slow one.


Mile 1 was actually pretty good for the run 25, walk 95 seconds intervals I was doing. Sure, I was a little tired by the end of the mile. But, it didn’t seem like I was on a bad run at the end of mile 1. However, mile 2 was a different story. I switched to the run 25, walk 35 second intervals like the week before. However, I wasn’t running as fast. By the end of the mile, I reminded myself that mile 3 is often my fastest in this loop. However, it just wasn’t happening. By the time I reached the end of mile 3, I made the decision to switch back to run 25, walk 95 seconds. That was my plan going into this run. I would see where I was at the end of mile 3 to determine what to do with mile 4. Since I had skipped 1 mid-week run in week 4 and 1 mid-week run this week, I was okay with keeping the format of my run/walk intervals the same in this run. In week 6 there will be a change. In week 6, only mile 1 will have the 95 second walk break.


On Thursday, I got my official confirmation that I will be in for the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon! I wrote last week about getting the news. So, ready or not, on the first Sunday of November, I will be running the marathon!


I’m taking a financial management class at my church. So, I didn’t have Thursday to make up the missed run opportunities on Monday and Tuesday. Instead, I took the miss and headed out the door on Saturday for my 7 mile long run. Because of the missed runs and the slow run on Wednesday, I headed into this run with a lot of nervousness. You see, my original plan was to run this 7 miles with the following intervals…run 25 seconds, walk 95 seconds in Mile 1. Then, run 25 seconds, walk 35 seconds the rest of the way. However, with the missed runs, I wondered how long I could keep up the 35 second walk breaks. It turns out, I could keep them going for all of the final 6 miles!


In August, I ran this same route as part of week 5 in training for the Avengers Super Heroes Half Marathon. This is how that run fared. I beat that run by nearly 8 minutes!


A year ago, in week 5 of training for the 2016 Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon, I ran in the Knott’s Berry Farm Coaster 10K Run. Here is my time from that run…


If you look at the splits from this past Saturday’s run, you see that I was ahead of that run as well! This was my fastest 7 miles in 2 years! Yes, I looked it up. On March 7, 2015, while training for the Los Angeles Marathon, I bested this past weekend’s run at 1:19:44. Y’all I’m stoked with how this run turned out! Not only was it my best 7 miles in 2 years, but it was my first sub 12 minute per mile average on any run in this training cycle!

I do want to say, though that this run was a rough one. I worked really hard every step of the way. Yes, there were parts of the run that didn’t feel as hard as others. However, the route I chose to run has its difficulties. Miles 3 – 5 have elevation gains and no losses. The key to this run was mile 2. As you see in the splits, I ran it in 11:10…again a fastest mile in this training cycle. That time set everything else up to succeed. Every mile I kept the average pace under 12 minutes per mile built confidence going into the next mile. I knew that miles 3 – 5 would be tough. To be under 48 minutes at the end of mile 4 was another huge confidence booster. Once I saw my time at the end of mile 4, I really wanted a sub one hour 5 mile time. I can’t remember the last time I finished 5 miles in less than an hour. It’s been that long. I was almost in tears at the end of mile 5. In my past, I’ve been able to run 5 miles quicker. But, when it’s been a while since you finished 5 miles in less than an hour, it feels amazing to be there again!

I didn’t make up as much time as I’d hoped to in mile 6. However, it was okay because I wasn’t trying to get my time to a sub 12 minute per mile average from being over that at the end of mile 5. By the end of mile 6, I did start thinking about how I would do mile 7. Should I call it a great victory and switch to the 95 second walk breaks? Or, should I just keep trucking with the 35 second walk breaks and see what happens. I chose the latter and am glad I did. By the end of this run, I felt this sense of accomplishment that I haven’t felt in a training run in a really long time! To finish 7 miles with an average pace under 12 minutes per mile is HUGE for me!


Buoyed by  my successful long run on Saturday, I had to hit the gym right? I wish it was as simple as that. I want to write this to remember that every workout…every run has its own difficulties. You need to be motivate at exactly the right time or skipped runs/workouts happen. It’s really easy to miss a workout or a run. For part of Sunday, I was really motivated to get to the gym. However, when it came time to go, that motivation wasn’t there. What got me out the door? A reminder of how success comes one workout at a time. My awesome finish on Saturday was built on the workouts and runs leading up to it. If I want to continue to build and achieve my goals of a 2:35:00 half marathon in San Diego this June, I need to do the work. So, I did.

My legs felt tired and tight as I took to the treadmill for my 6 x 400’s. I after reading some of my previous posts on running these intervals, I decided I needed to up the speed this time around. So, I did. I may need to up it more in the future. However, for this workout, it was fine. My 400’s were finished in around 2:30 each time! It’s kind of funny how these workouts happen. I was telling myself to just get to 4 of the 400’s and I could decide what to do next then. By my 3rd 400, I knew I’d finish them all. After all, the first 400 was my hardest to complete. By the end of the 3rd one, I felt myself getting into a groove with these repeats!

As I went through the assisted chin ups and dips, abs, and leg press, I think I’m ready to change the weight for my next gym workout! It’s an amazing feeling to see progress! I even improved on the elliptical machine at the end of my workout! I’m not sure how accurate the calories burned are on these machines. However, I burned 2 more calories than the week before. Distance is another thing I’m not sure about. However, I went from finishing 3.41 to 3.60 in distance. Hey, improvement is improvement!


January may have been rough. But, February and March are going rather nicely. Bring on Week 6!

3 thoughts on “Finding My Groove in Week 5 of Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon Training!

  1. yay for progress! I have been in a similiar boat as you-missing workouts, lacking motivation, etc but after my dissertation was done, it all turned around. I am hitting my workouts and seeing improvements-hope you can keep up the good work!

    and it sounds like with your fastest 7 miles, that you are due to run a 10k PR soon! 🙂

    1. Ha! I want a Half Marathon PR in June and a full Marathon PR in NYC this November. Lots of work to do. Congrats on getting back in your workout groove!

  2. Great Job on the Saturday run, Greg! Those moments when you see your hard work paying off are what makes it all worth while!

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