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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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…

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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!

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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!

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

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Posted in gym workouts, Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon, running workouts, Weekly Recap
3 comments 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! 🙂

    • gloucks7 says:

      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. Jeff Stetson says:

    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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My Next Race
Rock n Roll San Diego 5K and Half MarathonJune 3rd, 2017
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2017 Disneyland Half MarathonSeptember 3rd, 2017
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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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