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Posts tagged with: santa monica

How to Accidentally Run 22 Miles

Sunday’s run schedule was 7 miles with “intro to hills”, so we met at the corner of Gretna Green and Montana in Brentwood. My initial plan was to do 17 miles (my last long run before the Austin Marathon), because the previous day, I ran 3, to total out a 20 mile weekend. Now, about that title of this blog post – how did I accidentally run 22 miles? I didn’t plan a run route beforehand. I wasn’t really paying attention to my Garmin watch either – OOPS! Learn from me – don’t do that!

The practice spot was pretty close to my house, so I just ran there. Then the next 7 miles were a Brentwood Golf Course Loop (3 something miles), followed my hill intervals. What does that mean? Franklin St, just a little past the start of the run loop, was a pretty decent hill. We had to do hill repeats, 0:90 first time at easy pace, 0:60 second time at a moderate pace, then 0:30 at full speed. After each climb was a recovery downhill, then after the set of 3, a mile loop around the neighborhood. Repeat the set of 3 for 3 times. Whew! I was SPENT! At that point, I wasn’t sure if I should continue my long run.

I knew I had to complete a long run before Austin or else I’d be struggling during that marathon (even though I don’t plan on PRing it), so I just said F it, let’s do it. Fortunately, one of my coaches is training for the American River 50 Ultramarathon, so he had to knock out a 3 hour run. I agreed to run the first few miles with him. From Brentwood, we took a nice scenic route through the tree-lined neighborhood of Santa Monica, heading west to Ocean. Felt really great the whole time, averaging a 8:45-9:00 min pace, slightly downhill. We had good conversation about running, triathlons, travel and all that good stuff. I was supposed to split and turn at the Santa Monica Pier, but I felt so good, I decided to keep running towards Venice. Time flies when you’re having fun and the pace was just right that I guess I was at my cruising speed. I was only paying attention to major markers along the Boardwalk, not really paying attention to my watch. That was a big mistake, because once we hit the Venice Pier, I decided to head back north, while my coach continued south. Uh oh… I was at 16 at that point, and I was maybe 5+ miles away from home. I had no other choice but to run back.

By the end of it all, I was exactly at 22 miles. I was dehydrated because the last few miles before home didn’t have any stores or water fountains. I did my stretches infront of my place real quick, then rushed to my kitchen to chow down on my Hollybar recovery nutrition, and drank to refuel my electrolytes! I think I scarfed down my food/drinks in less than 30 seconds! I cooked some food immediately after, and I was done with that in no time either! Done and done! I guess I’m ready for the Austin Marathon in 2 weeks!

I only had time to get a little powernap before I had to go to my teammate Travis’ Superbowl fundraiser in Eagle Rock. Nonstop action! It was a Korean BBQ buffet, so you know I was all over that! 3 rounds of food to be exact. It was really fun, but I was struggling to stay awake. I pretty much stayed in the same spot, mainly because I was so tired. I didn’t want to move to a couch because of fears of possibly falling asleep! It was an awesome way to end a full weekend of training, after a full week of no training because of work.

Boot & Rally

So Saturday was a huge day, woke up early then a 2.5 hour practice, took down the course IronTEAM signs, then immediately rush home to get ready for my bar crawl fundraiser MAN v BAR 7. The fundraiser lasted from 2pm-9pm officially, but stayed a few more hours until midnight. That’s 10 hours of drinking! Ok ok, my nutrition plan is waaaaay off here, but it was considered a miracle if I even showed up to the early Sunday run practice!

The route? Met at Ocean and San Vicente, run up San Vicente, Brentwood Golf Course loop and back, then an out and back towards the Santa Monica Pier if time permits. Yes, so many surprised faces when I showed up… but also surprised at other people that were at MAN v BAR too. So we did a warmup to 4th St up San Vicente, then back to stretch. The goal was to do a 7 mile minimum in 80 minutes for Intermediate, or 90 minutes for advanced. Started off thinking I’ll do the intermediate set, because in no way I consider myself advanced, but a funny thing happened to me halfway through the run – I actually felt great! Runner’s high? Maybe. It was also downhill for the second half. Not going to complain! I ended up continuing the run towards the Pier, and once it hit my turnaround for the 80, I figured, what’s 10 minutes more? I ran to the Pier, and by the time I came back, it was around 90 minutes for 10 miles! Much faster and further than I originally planned! Maybe I should do a 10 hour drinking binge before a timed run like this more! (Just kidding, coaches!)

3 Buoy Loops!

This morning, my longest swim in the ocean was 2 buoy loops in Santa Monica near Tower 26, and my goal ever since then was to make it to 3, and this morning I finally made it! 3 loops! My teammate Jasmine and I have been motivating each other to improve every time we go out there and tackle the ocean, and it’s been helping me a lot! I’m a little more comfortable going head on through the waves this time around, but the waves this time were a little more forgiving. They came from every angle this time, and the water past the breakers were a little rocky too. At one point, I thought I was swimming towards the buoy, but I was actually heading back to shore! Oops!

I’m still having a tough time coming back to shore because of my fear of the waves behind me crashing down on me and causing me to tumble, so I took some time there. After 3 loops, I saw it was already time for me to go to get ready for work. I think I still had 1 more loop in me too! Oh well, that will be my goal NEXT week! When I got back to my car, I saw one of my teammates, Dash, with a bloody foot. What?!? He got stung by a stingray! I didn’t even know they would be in these parts. Oh man! I hope it’s nothing too serious.

Our coaches have been trying to get us to go to more ocean swims by sending out 3500-4200 yard swim sets in the pool. Uh… you know how boring it is to do those sets by yourself? No thanks, ocean swims are for me, no matter how terrifying they may be! Next week, 4 loops, bring it!

OWS + 19 Mile Run

The waves this morning during our Open Water Swim (OWS) were pretty scary at Tower 26 in Santa Monica… I just remember having to look up as if I was looking up at a building, then tumble under a double wave. Took even more tries than usual because those waves were bigger than I’ve ever encountered. I was coming into the practice feeling confident because Friday was such a huge milestone, but I guess you can’t have it all. Was able to make 1 loop to the buoy though with the help of one of our coaches. I was happy to even just do 1, because at one point, I was already about to walk back to the car. It was so rough out there!

After the swim, we all changed to our running gear and went on to our longest run of the IronTEAM season- 19 miles! It’s nothing new to me, but it was a big milestone for some of my teammates, as it marked some personal bests in terms of mileage. What was new to me was the fact that I just did 100+ miles on the bike, so running this distance on not-so-fresh legs was such a challenge! The route started near our swim meetup spot, and headed north to a place called “Troll Bridge” (you’d have to go through parts of the Amalfi neighborhood to get there), and do 2 out and backs. Tried to run the whole time, but those hills near the end of the loop took so much out of us that walking was a better option if we wanted to finish the distance. It’s all about pacing! I practiced more of my running technique and form on the flats. This special route was trying to simulate the Vineman out and back type of course where the course is 3 loops, and that can really mess with your mind!

Running in the Rain

I don’t know how I got past four years of running without having to run in the rain. The closest I ever got was in Alaska, where it started to sprinkle just a little before the race. All the other times I rained for practice, I was probably out of town. This morning, I finally got to run in the rain. Yes, another first. It was quite refreshing though. Splish splashing around, occasional mud, cars driving by splashing water. Good times. Brought back memories again of childhood just playing in the rain after school, having to walk home.

We met at Ocean & San Vicente again, then we ran up 15 minutes and back, for a total of an hour. Going up San Vicente was a little more challenging because it was slightly uphill, but I enjoyed the way back, downhill. Wearing my rain jacket kept the rain out, but it also kept the heat in. I felt really good most of the time as I only had to stop for walks early with intervals, and a few stoplights, but I was able to stick to a constant pace throughout. I’m thinking it’s the cross training with swimming & biking that is definitely helping my run, much more than just doing other runs in between.

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First IronTeam Run

Finally! A group run! Something I CAN do! This morning in Santa Monica, we met as a team for the first time on Ocean and San Vicente. We circled around in first name alphabetical order to do our introductions, talked about the season basics once more, and we were off for a warm up run up San Vicente. I was curious to see how different IronTeam practices are from the TNT marathon team. Six seasons of the TNT marathon team, I felt pretty confident with my run, but was still excited to learn some new tips and pointers, coming from a long distance triathlon perspective.

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Back at the Boardwalk

My last real run on pavement was probably a month ago, and I was afraid that I’ll struggle going back to the old TNT training route along the Santa Monica and Venice boardwalk. Surprisingly, I survived the run with no problems! We kept it at a very easy conversational pace (which we should), and did 5:1 intervals. It brought back some memories passing by the small Venice shops, the homeless guys smoking out marijuana, and the smell of food from the small mom n pop shops.

Never Gonna Give You Up

Tonight was Karina’s Mentor Group’s fundraiser event at the Santa Monica Bar & Grille, in yes you guessed it, Santa Monica. They are usually closed on Mondays but with some TNT pulling some strings, they opened it up for us. It was Karaoke Night, and it was so fun! From songs by The Killers, to 80s Rock, to Pop, all the performances were amazing, and the crowd getting into all the performances made it that much better! Whenever our team gets together for social events, there’s never a dull moment!

Pictures and Videos from the event

Keeping Pace

track2.jpgI’ve been very good this week in keeping up with my mid-week runs. Monday at the gym, Tuesday in Brentwood, and then last night we had the second session of Track Training at Santa Monica High School. It wasn’t as tough as last week because this time around was all about keeping a consistent pace, for 20 laps. Coach asked us what our target marathon time is, then he calculated what kind of pace we should keep during our run. I want to break 5 hours for the marathon, so he suggested I finish each 2 lap set in 5 minutes. We did 10 total sets at that pace, with decreasing rest times. The first 5 sets were 3 minute rest peroids, to 2, to 1.5, to 1 minute. We didn’t realize how long were were running for until the end, because we got out of there at 9:45ish. So a total of 24 laps, including the warm up and cool down laps equaled 5.6 something miles. It probably went under the calculated 6 miles because I took the inside lane most of the time.

Since we are tapering until the event, this will be our final track training, which I will truly miss. It’s not too far from where I live, so I plan to run here now and then, just to keep up my cardio workout. This is the final stretch folks… can’t wait!

First Track Training

track.jpgWe just started the third major section of our training in TNT. The first third was working on our base, where strength training occured, making sure our bodies will transition into longer miles nicely. The second third was all about hills. This time around, we started working on speed. Track training was at the Santa Monica High School, not too far from our Sunday meeting spot.

The training? We started off with a mile (4 laps) warmup, then our sets consisted of 3 laps at a faster than normal speed, 1 minute rest, then 1 lap of full on sprint. We did a total of 3 sets, each with 3 minute rest periods. I’ve never done track training in all my TNT seasons, mainly because the last third of training was always a busy time for me. Each session was timed, and according to the times that were yelled out, most of us went at such a fast pace, we would finish a minute faster than expected. My lap time, on the final set, final lap was 1:45, which was considered 2 pace groups faster than I would normall run. Nice! I’ll try to beat that next time! I was totally out of breath, and out of energy, but you know what? I feel great!