It’s been forever since I’ve written a blog post and so much has happened that I wish I could get you all caught up. It’s been a rough roller coaster ride of life since my last post. My training for the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon has suffered greatly. However, after all the missed runs, I’m on fumes, but still in the game!
One of the really hard things about coming back to long distance running has been getting myself off the couch and out the door again. Especially with the long, long runs. I had a terrible streak of stress about running beyond 3 miles. After all, since my 2017 NYC Marathon, I haven’t run more than 3 miles. So, once I got to the part of my training plan that required a 4 mile run, 5, mile run, and 6.5 mile run, I conveniently found excuses to miss. However, around the middle of March, I received my Virtual WDW 10K shirt and medal. Even though I didn’t run this distance, they sent it.
So, on March 20th, I finally dragged myself out of bed and headed off to the Rose Bowl to complete the run I had intended in January. It was the weekend before this, that I had intended to go. But, that morning, decided waking up early was too hard. On March 20th, I made sure I got out of bed and completed the 6.50 mile run I needed. I even decided to wear the 2022 Virtual WDW 10K shirt as motivation. I didn’t get out the door when I wanted to. But, I did get out.
As I drove to the Rose Bowl, I kept reminding myself that, since my failed attempt at 6.1 miles in January, I had run a few 3 mile runs. So, I should be able to make it. I told myself not to worry about my finish time because this run was all about showing myself that I could still run 6.50 miles. The first mile was brutal as usual. On the Rose Bowl loop, the first mile is the most brutal. Keep in mind that I’ve run more difficult miles in my life. But, this first mile is a gradual increase in altitude. Of the three, it’s the only one that offers this. The upward grind continues into mile 2. By around 2.5 miles, it levels out and starts to descend. So, I went out knowing that the first mile would be hard, mile 2 would start off hard. Then, the run would get easier until the end of mile 3. Then, I would have to repeat this.
On this day, it wasn’t until the end of mile 2 that I believed that I would actually make it all the way to mile 6. My run was slow, but it was so much better than January that I knew by the end of mile 2 I would be back on a second lap. While I did end up completing that second lap, mile 4 was mostly walking because, mentally, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t quit. If it was okay to walk, then it was okay to keep moving. In miles 5 and 6, I did get back into my regular flow of run/walk/run. My unstated goal was to finish the 10K portion of this run in around 1:30:00. I’m proud to say that I finished in just under this time!. Then, I promptly walked the rest of the distance. Considering the lack of training, I am pretty proud of that time. It felt AMAZING to get back to the 6 mile distance!
So, I thought that meant I’d get serious about training. Right? I mean, I showed myself that I could get past that 3 mile barrier. WRONG! I didn’t get in another training run until this past weekend. Y’all, I’m in a scary position. I HAD to run this past weekend or quit the race. Counting this past weekend, there are 4 weekends before the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon Weekend….JUST 5! That gives me time to run 8 miles, this past weekend, 9.5 miles next weekend, 11 miles the weekend after that, 12.5 miles, and then have a weekend with 3 miles. I’m not sure how this is going to work out. But, I have to try.
So, I’m pleased to let you know that I did run 8 miles this past weekend! After several attempts that never got off the ground, I finally did it! As I’ve been getting ready for this 8 mile run, I realized how much I’ve forgotten about long distance training. I would have finished this 8 mile run one week earlier, but I realized that I didn’t have things like body glide, Cliff Bloks, Gatorade, and a new training belt (because the one had been using since 2013 was far too stretched out since the 2017 NYC Marathon. I would have done this 8 mile run two weeks ago, but I didn’t remember to charge my phone and headphones. Logistics can really kill your training.
I headed out to Santa Monica Beach for this 8 mile run. I’ve had many 8 mile runs here and love it. I haven’t ran at the beach in forever and was looking for ward to that. I was also looking forward to running through Venice Beach as well. When I woke up, I wasn’t so sure that this would work. I was tired and scared of the effects this has on your body. I left around 30 minutes late. On the way, I kept talking myself into it. But, when I parked, I wasn’t feeling right. So, I almost quit right there. A quick trip to the restroom at the beach and I was better.
The 8 miles at Santa Monica/Venice Beach is an out and back route. One thing that blew me away about this run is the mental change from the out part to the back part. Somehow, once I realized I would make it 4 miles without turning around, everything looked better.
I had a really nice view at the end of mile 4. Right? I finished 4 miles in around an hour and 1 minute. As I realized that I had less than 4 miles to go, I found a new motivation to continue with my run/walk intervals. I kept telling myself that I could beat the 2 hours , 15 minutes I thought I would take. This was hard. But, that’s why I’m doing this. I thought about how hard the Dopey Challenge will be…how hard running a half-marathon is. I’m not doing this because it’s easy. So, I kept going.
Running through Venice is so much fun! What got me through miles 6 and 7 was all the fun sights and sounds of Venice waking up for the morning. Mile 7 was hard. But, not only was I inspired by Venice, but my time wasn’t as awful as I thought it would be. I got to the end of mile 7 in 1 hour, 47 and change. At this point, I realized that I could walk the rest of the way and finish faster than I thought I would at the start of the day. On that first walk break of mile 8, I saw my pace and realized I would even beat 2 hours and 10 minutes. And I did! I finished in 2 hours, 7 minutes, 40 seconds. All of that with walking all of mile 8. Amazing!
Here’s the downside to running Santa Monica. At the end of the run, I get walk up this bridge to get back to my car. After 8 miles, this is no fun. But, it’s just what I’ve got to do.
Rock n Roll San Diego will be here before I know it. I don’t know if cramming all these long runs will work for me. But, it’s what I’ve got. I can get training runs up to 12.5 miles before the race. Now, I’ve to go out and do it….there is no try.