Yesterday morning, I woke up, made some coffee, ate peanut butter toast with bananas and then proceeded to run 22 miles (longest training run I’ve ever done).
I missed some stuff there. I procrastinated for 90 minutes by watching Saturday Night Live, catching up on Words With Friends games, and hoping a sunny morning would suddenly become overcast. It didn’t.
I eventually got going a little after 9 and ran up in to Beverly Hills and through the final 8 miles of the LA Marathon course. About two hours later, I was at the beach admiring the views of the Pacific Ocean from Palisades Park.
I’ve run this route half a dozen times in previous marathon training cycles. I like it because it helps familiarized myself with the end of the marathon route, but it’s also challenging. The final 4-5 miles are on San Vicente Blvd through Brentwood and in to Santa Monica. It’s one of the best places to run in LA thanks to the tree-lined streets, a soft surface on the grassy median, water fountains, few stoplights and traffic, and plenty of other runner, walkers and cyclists. It’s also on a nice decline, which is less fun if you’re doing an out-and-back.
At Palisades Park, I stopped for a few minutes to refill my water bottles and take some photos. I’ve never taken pictures during a training run (or race) before. I hate carrying unnecessary items while I run. For a 22 mile run, I don’t feel comfortable without a phone. Now that I have a decent camera on my phone, that meant some pictures.
The second half of my run took me back the same way I came. On tired legs all the hills felt tougher and I felt like walking some. I stopped a couple of times, but started running after a few steps. I need to practice going up hill on tired legs considering there are some hills at miles 18 and 20 on the course. I finished off the last mile with some strides (about a couple blocks each). That helped me have my final mile be the fastest at 9 minutes.
I finished in 3:33:21, which puts me at a decent pace for my long runs.
As far as recovery, I felt pretty good and today I hardly felt sore. In the past when I’ve run 20+ miles, it hurt to sit the following day and my legs felt stiff. I didn’t have any of that. I’m going to credit the last ~9 weeks of strength training for the good recovery.
One thing the run did leave me with was with a goofy tan line. At least it’s cool enough to wear tights with skirts these days.
One other thing about this week in marathon training. My Wednesday tempo run called for a 1.5 mile warm-up, 2 miles at 8 minute pace, and a 1.5 mile cool down. I was bit intimidated by this as 8:0X miles are quite difficult for me.
I did the workout on the track at UCLA. The tempo miles definitely felt challenging, but not insanely difficult. I think I nailed it.