This year we have a lot of options during the week to train with coaches and as a group. Usually, I make it out to the Westside OSV (Ocean and San Vicente) morning runs at 7am, but depending on social outing circumstances or work schedule, I don’t go to all the time. I don’t know why, but what makes the most sense for me are the South Bay runs Thursday nights because it’s so close to work, and there’s no real time pressure, unlike the mornings where I have to rush to get ready for work right after.
Tonight was my first time there and I kinda like it! I like varying up the terrain and course time to time too. We did mainly Chip Trail and Boardwalk with some hills snuck in. I might of went too hard in the beginning because the second half of the 80 minute run, my legs felt heavy – muscles tightened, felt like shin splints. Running in good company with teammates helped distract the pain away, plus the post-run eats & beer is always a treat!
I’m in the middle of reading “I’m Here To Win: A World Champion’s Advice for Peak Performance” by Chris “Macca” McCormack, and coincidentally, I read this excerpt Friday night, after a big swim, and before our big weekend workout:
Every triathlete, pro or amateur, no matter how fit reaches a point in every race where he has to decide whether or not he will endure more suffering. It’s very simple. Either he will or he won’t. You will get there. The only question is how you’ll handle it.
It’s that simple. Whenever I do these races I always come to that point where my self-doubt kicks in and guess if I’m hitting The Wall. It usually wasn’t The Wall, but I still think, “I’m still running, this hurts… should I keep going?” I always kept going.
Saturday challenge: VERY hilly 9 miles in the South Bay. I’ve never been to this running route before, so I was pretty excited and scared at the same time. I know for sure this wasn’t a flat beach run. As expected, we were introduced to some pretty nasty hills, equivalent to a Category 5 on the bike (the hardest of them all). Immediately out of the meeting spot was uphill… and up, and up, and up. It just wouldn’t stop! See below (and that’s not a forced perspective shot, camera is looking straight ahead):
Sunday challenge: 50 mile minimum, or 3.5 hours + 2 mile run in Santa Monica/Malibu. It was nicknamed “Mari & Luke’s Revenge,” as the team returned to the mean streets of Malibu. The alumni had a modified course, with the return to the infamous hill on John Tyler Road. One experienced rider even said “That was the f*ckin HARDEST hill I’ve ever done!”. Alumni route had to do a few hill loops around Pepperdine with a total of 2 x JohnT + 2 x Rest-of-Team Hill in that day. It was madness I tell ya! Second time around wasn’t any easier. Imagine putting your bike to the easiest gears, having to stand up and pedal, still having the hardest time trying to climb. You know what though? We did it. I didn’t have to zig zag up, nor unclip, nor stop. As hard as it was, it felt amazing to conquer it. I made John Tyler my bitch that morning. Take that! As a reward each time, we were blessed with this beautiful view:
Ain’t gonna lie, what brought me out to do the run last Sunday in the South Bay (17 miles away) instead of Santa Monica (3 miles away) was because of the post-run food – tacos! A later start time was a treat too because I could sleep in plus I had some family stuff in the morning carrying over to lunch anyway. I was running a little late, so I thought I’ll be running this alone until taco time, but luckily, they were still waiting for the whole gang to arrive.
The course was south on The Strand until “The Wall” in Redondo Beach. From there, we headed east on that main road, slightly uphill, until the start of the Wood Chip Trail. The Wood Chips are nice and flat with a soft ground. We took it all the way to Manhattan Beach Blvd and headed back to the beach.
It was a lovely recovery downhill to The Stand, and from there we headed back to Hermosa Beach. The timing near the end of the run and the sunset was nearly perfect. It might of been the plan the whole time from our El Capitan Scott, but it was a nice surprise to all of us! We ran to the end of the Pier to catch the sunset. Check it out… so beautiful!
Then, when you turn around, there it was a full moon rising along the same horizon. What timing! We we all in awe. We took several photos, Twitter & Facebook updates as usual. We took in this beautiful sight, so amazed that it’s only January too!
This… is… life. Also, check out the view with the fisherman below. I hope to one day grow old and just chill like that, looking back and how beautiful life is and the memories we had.
Unfortunately, the run wasn’t over, so we finished it with another out and back to the Redondo Beach Wall. Oh yeah, almost forgot about some sexy sax (not Careless Whisper, but close) soundtrack for a bit of the run. The whole time we were still amazed at what we had witnessed, a true runner’s high, completely unrelated to the actual “run” itself. The fun didn’t stop when we got back to Hermosa Pier. We continued at Hot’s Kitchen a few blocks away to try some of their delicious tacos, over 50 varieties to choose from! Oh you know we devoured those tacos with a quickness!