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Posts tagged with: training

Santa Monica Friday

santamonica.jpgWho runs on a Friday night instead of going out? I do. Tonight I decided to keep my running habit and ran 45 or so minutes along Santa Monica. I started at our usual running spot, “Shutters” (which is a restaurant along the beach), nearing the time of a beautiful sunset, and headed to the Venice pier and back. It’s definitely a lot more active along Venice as I ran past busy bars and restaurants. I really love the sights and sounds of many people walking, biking, and running along the beach. I also ran by the usual smell of marijuana from random people on the sidewalk, and ran by some weird looking people who just give you a crazy stare like I shouldn’t be running at this time of night.

I recently bought some new shoes which I was trying to break in, but it posed a problem during my run. I started to have shin splints which I never had, and only started to get them ever since I used these shoes. The pair that I wore were the same model as my previous ones, but it was a newer model. Not even a mile into the run I was aching. I walked for a bit until the pain went away, but I was motivated to get back to my car before it got too late. I really think something is wrong with my shoes because that’s the only variable that has changed for me ever since the pains came. We’ll see how it goes.

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!

Brentwood Mid-Week

brentwoodmap.jpg It’s already near the end of the season and the majority of my mid-week runs have been on the treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness, with the exception of one Saturday run in Hollywood. Last night was my FIRST mid-week run with the team. I never went to any of them in the past because I lived in Pomona, commute was far, or I would just get out of work too late to go. I finally decided to go, and I’m glad I did. It was a pretty good turnout, at about 10 people, most of which were of the faster pace groups. My mentality during the run was the same as track training. Since the distance is much shorter, I’ll give it my all to go a little faster. The scheduled 45 minute mid-week run was right on schedule, lapping the Brentwood Country Club twice, and just finishing a few minutes over.

The Brentwood 4.3 Mile Run

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!

98 Degrees

98 DegreesWeek 12 Sunday Run:
It was HOT. Very HOT. Probably not 98 degrees but it felt like it! According to the forecasts, the highs were in the mid-90’s. People even said that it was the hottest in Santa Monica in YEARS. Why? Why during one of our longest runs of the season??

Our Santa Monica/Palicades/Brentwood 17 Mile Route started on Ocean at the entrance of the Santa Monica Pier, worked our way North through the Palicades, down San Vicente, then back up San Vicente up to the Brentwood Area then ran all the way back down to where we started, and then some. There was a steady incline in the beginning of the course, but 6 miles of it was just too much for me, even with hill training earlier this week! I ran out of energy quick!

This is my third season with the Team, and it was definitely one of the hardest training days of my life. I believe some of the 20 milers in the past were easier because of the flatness of the course, and the weather. I was a bit frustrated at my run because I prepared very well for this run – I did not go out, I had a pasta dinner, I did not drink alcohol, I had a good night’s rest. During the run, I struggled to keep up with my pace group. We did our usual 7 minute run / 1 minute walk intervals, but towards the end I’ve never stopped so much for walk breaks. I’ve never cramped up so badly during a run. I’ve never ran out of breath so quickly. I’ve never been so hungry at mid-training. Luckily, I ran with Erin, who we kept each other company during the run, because it was just one of those bad days for us.

The weather affected me in so many ways than one. The pavement reflected the scorching heat of the sun, making it terribly difficult to stay cool. The air was too hot to even breathe in. Every opportunity I could get to a shade, I took it. At the water stops, I would pour water on my head and to the back of neck to cool down. I tried so many ways to regulate my breathing and temperature – every little bit helped. In the end, I enjoyed a simulated ice bath in the freezing beach water of Santa Monica. It helped out a lot because I’m not as sore today than I usually would.

Even though I felt this was my worst training run ever, I’m happy I finished 17 miles with a higher pace group than usual, and again, I’m not here to win any medals. This was definitely a Personal Record (PR) for me, not for time, but the challenge. I felt beat up, but not lost. It’s just one more step towards the goal, coming up in a few weeks!

Hills Finale

hilltraining.jpgTonight was the final scheduled session of our hill training. Unfortunately, this was only my third of five total sessions. After an initial warm up run down the street, we ran up the hill for a total of 6 times (7 to be exact because we did 2 half runs), and looped around the block for 3 times.

Ok, after 3 seasons of hill training you’d think I’d perfect this by now, right? NO. That hill is STILL hard. That hill had a gradual incline up until that horrid 40 degree incline 3/4 of the way up! Just like last time, my heart was beating sooo fast, and my breathing was so deep. During the run, there was only one word on my mind. “WHY?”.

I didn’t really know until after the run, because actually, I felt great. I felt great for accomplishing and not giving up on that hill that continues to conquer most of us. I felt great for being able to say no to whatever party or bar I may have hit up tonight, and actually deciding to train. I feel stronger every time, and I’m loving it. The San Diego Marathon is a month and days away, and you know what? I already feel I’m ready.

Palos Verdes

Palos Verdes, CAWeek 11 Sunday Run: The Palos Verdes Route – We started off at the shopping center at Malaga Cove, ran to Hawethorne Blvd, passing 2 water stops, back to the starting point, then run to the first water stop, then back. Weather was perfect, beautiful views of the ocean, passing some really amazing houses. We even saw a glass house. Yes, I was able to see straight through it, overlooking the ocean.

We formed a pace group 3 “b”, because half of us wanted a 6 minute run : 1 minute walk interval instead of a 7:1 considering the hills on this course. Oh, there are hills all right, especially the first one being within the first mile of running. It wasn’t TOO bad because the amount of uphills evened out with the amount of downhills. Today I ran with Mega, Shauna, Jennifer, and Gretchen… talking about various topics from favorite vacations, to running teams who drink, to cool hotspots in LA/Hollywood. Great talks make the run go by so quickly. Other factors in making this a great course: We had no idea how the course was so we didn’t really know the mile marks were. “Oh, we’re almost done!”, and the power of the GU.

The Heat

hot!Week 10 Sunday Run: Ok I know I’m on the “Summer” team, but it’s not summer yet! It felt like summer today, running 10 miles in 80 something degree weather. They even ran out of water at the 2nd water stop, and my water belt went empty early on. The sun was beating so hard that we scrounged for shade while we ran.

I continued to run with pace group 3. Surprisingly, I kept up again, even with this hot weather! Glad for that. I met some new people on the team, and also ran with a participant from the Winter Season, Lindsey. She’s always good company. We did our usual run from Shutters, down to Venice, then back up on San Vicente & 7th, then back to the parking lot. Usually, our team would be on the grass doing post-run stretches, but we were all appreciating the cool concrete under the parking lot shade.

Movin On Up

movinonup.jpg Week 9 Sunday Run: After finishing strong last week with no problems, my teammate Phillipa decided we should try out pace group 3 this week. I agreed, and guess what? This is the week where the team happens to extend our intervals by one minute to a 7:1 interval. Mind you, this pace is faster, AND we’re running longer (14 miles).

The beginning of my runs are usually the worst, where I have the most pains, but I actually kept up with the pace group! The front end of the group are ex-group 2, so their actual pace was much much faster. It was about a 9:30/mile pace for a while, then we eventually split into our own groups. I had a hard time breathing because this is NOT my usual pace. Last week’s pace was probably a consistent 10:30/mile.

This pace group is a little more challenging as well because we actually ran up the pier, which is one huge incline, and after each water stop, we reset our watches to new intervals. Towards the end though, Philippa’s knee was bothering her, so we took it easy… can’t risk any more injuries. All in all, I’m glad that I was able to keep up with this pace group. I can feel myself pushing my limits, but after we enjoyed a lovely brunch at Rutt’s Cafe in Culver City with teammates, Warren, Byong, John, and Samantha.

Negative Splits

smocean.jpgWeek 8 Sunday Run: I missed last Sunday’s run due to Easter in San Diego with the family, so the last time I did a long run was two weeks ago. Boy, time surely flies. I can’t believe it’s week 8 already. Today’s scheduled run was 8 miles. It was our usual course, from Shutters, to the end of Venice, back north to San Vicente, then back to the parking lot where we meet.

This week was the perfect example of using Negative Splits. Negative splits is a running term where you run faster on the second half of your runs instead of the first half. So for the first half, you keep a slow pace, conserving energy, and warming up your muscles getting ready for a faster second half. This is truly my running style because usually, my aches and pains get introduced in the beginning, then towards the end I am good (or maybe it’s the fact that my muscles and joints get numbs that I can’t feel it anymore? I don’t know, I’m not an expert).

Towards the end, Ilana and Philippa, my running partners of the week, kinda strayed away from our usual pace group 4 and picked up the pace a little bit. Philippa even got us to RUN up the incline where the pier starts (great use of hill training there). We felt we had a very energy efficient pace, and I admit, we were conquering that last half of the run very well! It felt awesome. When we finished the 12 miles, it’s really hard for me to say that it wasn’t a problem. I was a little scared at the finish line because I actually felt a small pinch in my right leg muscle, so I ended the run slowly, walked, then stretched it out. Tomorrow I recover.

Negative Splits: Use Them to Perform Better in Your Next Marathon