Another Marathon Training Update

Weeks until Mountains 2 Beach Marathon: 4!

Oops I did it again. I started writing this post two weeks ago but never finished, so here I am playing catch up once again and writing the longest posts ever. Well, the biggest things that happened the past few weeks were my longest run to date, 18 miles, and I PRed at the Chardonnay 10-Miler by 13 minutes!

Here we go…

Week 14 ended up being a big unintentional step-back week. I felt really run down starting on Thursday, and took three days off because of this. Everyone at my work had been sick, and I’d been doing my best to avoid it, but I got some kind of bug that didn’t hit me super hard, but made me feel pretty bad and tired for a few days. The week after I was able to come back strong, and finished the week with a personal distance record, 18 miles, on Sunday.

Also, March was my highest mileage month ever so far, with my Garmin recording 149 miles (I ran a few miles without my Garmin at November Project so technically it was a little over 150).

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Week 14 – 23 miles total 

Monday – Mile repeats (8 miles total)

Did this speed workout at the Echo Park Lake, and pushed the pace after feeling good. Paces for the mile repeats:  8:29, 8:32, 8:03, 8:35.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – November Project

Lots of burpees/pushups/squats and running during November Project. At the end while we were taking a picture, some of the people from the earlier workout poured water on us as an April Fool’s joke. I didn’t find it very funny because it was cold out and my shoes were soaked through, and I think this had something to do with me catching some kind of bug.

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My face is pretty funny on the far left though.

Thursday – rest

Friday – rest

Saturday – rest

Sunday – 10 miles 

I was in Santa Barbara for Easter, which worked out because it’s my favorite place to do my long runs. I had 14 miles on the schedule, but Coach Lauren changed it to 8-10. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel after taking 4 days off, but luckily I felt good and my legs felt pretty fresh.

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Week 15 – 42 miles total 

Monday – 5 miles easy @ 9:49 min/mile

The top of my left foot started bothering me during this run. I was wearing Mizuno Wave Rider 18s and I think they were tied too tight or they weren’t big enough, and it was unpleasant.

Tuesday – rest

Wednesday – 5 miles easy @ 9:43 min/mile

Ran by feel and didn’t look at my Garmin once, which I hadn’t done in a looong time.

Thursday – 7 miles easy @ 9:52 min/mile

I remember this was a really good run!

Friday – 7 miles with 5 at tempo

I didn’t quite hit the paces I was aiming for (around 8:40) because of how hilly it the route was, but I was definitely pushing hard. Tempo mile paces: 8:59, 8:55, 8:39, 9:13, 8:40

Saturday – 18 miles @ 10:19 min/mile

This run was a huge confidence booster! I drove to Manhattan Beach and parked in a neighborhood, ran to the beach all the way to Palos Verdes and back. I was tired at the end, but not totally wiped out and I felt like I could keep a steady pace the whole time. I had to run on wood chips at the beginning and end, and that wasn’t fun because they kept getting in my shoes and I had to stop and get them out. I tried to go on the sidewalk but it ended so it was back to the wood chips I went.

The route started with about three miles of wood chips. Not my favorite.

The route started and ended with about three miles of wood chips. Not my favorite.

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Redondo Beach

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Palos Verdes

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My route.

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The Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes 22 miles or so from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica/Malibu.

The Marvin Braude Bike Trail goes 22 miles or so from Palos Verdes to Santa Monica/Malibu.

Done!

Done!

Week 16 – 30.5 miles total

Monday – 5 miles easy @ 9:59 min/miles

Tuesday – 4.3 miles easy @ 10:15

Met up with a few November Project people for a run, but I cut it short due to my knees bothering me a bit.

Wednesday – rest

Thursday – 6 miles easy @ 9:01 min/miles

Went to a running group at A Runner’s Circle in Los Feliz and the pacer went a little faster than I was expecting, but I felt good and kept up. Also got some Brooks Ghost 7 shoes after the top of my left foot not feeling better and the guy working at the running store told me I definitely needed to go up a half size and that’s why my shoes were bothering me. So far I really like these new shoes, and they will be my marathon shoes if all goes according to plan.

Friday – rest

Saturday – Chardonnay 10-Miler

I ran this same race two years ago, and this year I ran it 13 minutes faster! I drove up to Santa Barbara the night before, registered that morning shortly before the race began, and drove back to LA afterward. It was a pretty small, informal race, and that’s why I love doing races in Santa Barbara. Jeremy had to stay behind in LA to work, so my mom was super sweet and got up early to take me and waited while I ran. I got there with not too much time to spare, and panicked a little when I saw how long the line was for the four porta potties they had for racers.

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The long porta potty line.

I ended up leaving the line and heading to the starting line without using the restroom, which turned out okay but was uncomfortable for the first couple miles.

Before the race.

Before the race.

I tried to keep around an 8:30 pace the whole time then speed up the last few miles. I’d say I did a pretty good job at that.

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Ended with a sub 8 minute mile!

I really pushed myself during this race and am pretty proud of myself. OH I almost forgot the absolute best part of the race: I saw WHALES. The course went along the ocean and right by my favorite beach, and I just happened to look over and see a couple whales spraying water out of their blowholes and just swimming along. I couldn’t believe it. Nobody else seemed to notice them, so it’s like I got my own personal show. Needless to say, this distracted me for a good mile since it was near the turnaround point so I got to see them again on my way back.

Apart from whales, the other thing I did to keep my spirits up when I was feeling tired was cheer on runners heading in the opposite direction, including a few cancer survivors. It was so totally motivating to see them running, and I felt like I got a huge boost of energy each time.

I also passed a big group of guys that were part of a bachelor party during the last mile or so, and they actually cursed when they saw me pass, which made me feel pretty good. I was struggling near the end and getting tired, but I set my sights on a man a little ahead of me and tried to keep up with him. I couldn’t beat him, but it definitely help keep me going.

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My mom's expert finish line photography.

My mom’s expert finish line photography.

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My official finish time was 1:23:44, an 8:23 average pace. After the race, a nice man gave me and my mom wristbands to get into the wine tasting area since we hadn’t paid for tickets beforehand, and we got to taste some really good wines at 10 o clock in the morning…

Sunday – 5.27 miles easy @ 9:52 min/mile

My left hip was super sore from the race for some reason, so I took it easy and just tried to shake out my legs.

Week 17 – 34 miles total

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 6.8 miles easy @ 10:04 min/mile

Met up with NP running group again; I forgot to pack my knee compression bands for the 10-mile race and I could feel a difference. I’ve been trying to ice my knees even more this week.

Wednesday – 4 miles easy @ 10:14

Whoa mama heavy legs. Saturday’s race really took a toll.

Thursday – 8.22 miles with 4 mile repeats

Splits for the mile repeats: 8:34, 8:24, 8:35, 8:45. I was proud of these especially since my legs still felt heavy.

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Friday – rest

Took an extra rest day, my body needed it!

Saturday – 15 miles easy @ 10:16 min/mile

If the 18-miler boosted my confidence a few weeks back, this 15-miler knocked it down again. It was super tough and my legs felt like lead. Whenever I do my long runs around where I live, it never goes well because it’s super hilly and I end up having to run on soft dirt/sand. It was a combination of that and having an extremely stressful week at work and not getting good sleep, and who knows what else. In addition, I usually eat the same things the day before a long run or race (a big avocado sandwich for lunch and a brothy Asian soup for dinner) and this didn’t happen. I was stress eating all day and snacking on whatever was around, had a bunch of raw veggies for lunch, and had a Taiwanese feast for dinner. My stomach felt awful for the first 5 or so miles of my long run and I truly learned my lesson.

Took a break to get some cool blurry self timer shots.

Took a quick break to get some cool blurry self timer shots.

Friends seen on my run.

New friends seen at the end of my run. I see the one on the right a lot, he’s my buddy.

A lot of my route was on this nice dirt path in Griffith Park.

A lot of my route was on this nice dirt path in Griffith Park.

With only four weeks till the marathon and next week being the big 20-miler, I really need to place nutrition and sleep really high on my priority list. I’ve been indulging in food and drinks a little too much lately and it’s time to get serious!

12 comments

    1. Thanks Lisa!! This past week was really tough, but I try to keep in mind that some runs/weeks will be harder than others and not let it get me down.

  1. Great job with your training so far, and congrats on a new 10-mile PR! Thirteen minutes is a lot. I can’t wait to hear what your experiences with M2B are like. I’m running the Ventura Half Marathon in September and will be flying down, and it just looks gorgeous from all the photos I’ve seen.

    Good luck this coming week with your 20-miler!

  2. Your training is going so well!!! Good luck on your upcoming 20-miler – I’m sure you will crush it 🙂
    And super congrats on your amazing 10-miler! Wine is the best after a good race 😉

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