This year RunEatRepeat‘s Pile on the Miles challenge is a scavenger hunt. Day 13 of the challenge was hills. I ran to a hilly road and I ran up the hills a couple of times before I ran home. When I got home it hit me that hills are like a metaphor to the difficult parts of life. When we get to a difficult part of life aka “hills” we can either give up or show up and try. In the past when something got difficult I would either give up so easily or use negative talk as an excuse to not have to deal with it. There are those days when I still want to take the easy route and give up, but ever since I started running instead of thinking how difficult something is, I think of the regret I’ll have if I never tried.
I have run Rock N Roll LA 5ks before, but never a half marathon. Earlier in the summer my friend won a entry into the Rock N Roll LA half marathon. As support I decided to run it too. My training wasn’t how I expected. I think I did a good job of keeping up with the running, but I was hoping to end on my last long run to be 10 or maybe 11 miles. I only got up to 9.3 miles. I really don’t like training during the summer, but this race definately forced me to.
My friend and I went to the race expo on Saturday. The expo did seem smaller than previous years, but I didn’t think to much of it till I heard about other people’s complaints after. I love the swag I got from expos/race bag. The week befoe the race was hot and weather reports were predicting it to be hot on the day of the race too, but lucky enough the weather took a turn and it was actually cloudy and colder. Getting to the race wasn’t an issue since we took the Metro. Its always fun riding the metro when there is a big race like this. You get to see a lot of other fellow runners. Also since this race is usually around Halloween its fun to see all the different costumes that people run in. I just recycled what I wore couple of years ago for the RnR LA 5k. Overall this course was not bad. I know people were complaining about certain areas of the race or the hill, but I didn’t think it was that bad. Whenever I got to any hill I knew to dial it back and took it slow. Around mile 7 I took a few photos with my brother who was cheering me on. The perks of having a brother living in DTLA. After seeing my brother and taking a few photos it just got me more pumped up for the rest of the run. Compared to the Pasadena Half there was no point where I wanted to just stop and walk. Around mile 11 I was just smiling because I knew I was almost to the finish and I knew I could do this. When I rounded the corner to the finish line I just decided to go for it and ran as fast as my little legs could. So my final time was 2:29. I can’t find my offical time for the Pasadena Half, but its approximately 2:37 so based on that record I PR’ed. I joked with my brother that if I didn’t stop to take a photo with him that day I probably would have shaved off a min or two, but I’ll take a photo with family over a PR any day. Overall I loved this race. I’m not sure if I want to do next years race just yet. I may consider running a half for WWF or go back to doing a 5k. I actually think I was more happy doing this half than doing some 5ks. I guess with this race I didn’t put to much pressure on myself. With 5ks I tend to put alot of pressure on myself because its such a short race and when I don’t PR I get really dissapointed. On training for the Pasadena Half in January.
I used to be a treadmill runner. Treadmills were the only place I ever ran since I had the comforts of the fan and my water bottle was easily accessible. Running outside I would be huffing and puffing in minutes. This was before my knowledge of how to run. Ever since I switched to outside running I can barely run on the treadmill unless its one of those nice Woodway ones or the weather is unbearable. I was not feeling yesterdays run on the treadmill. It started off ok. I was in the zone and was focused. Midway I started not feeling the run and had to take some walk breaks. I could feel it in my legs too since I missed another short run in the begining of the week. Then I started freaking out about if I was able to run the half marathon. I think it was because I was comparing this current training to my last half marathon training. With my last training I was able to get up to 11 miles. I haven’t even done a long run over 8 miles yet and the races is 2 weeks away. I don’t think its going to be physcially impossible to run the 13.1, but sometimes my mind likes to go another direction and overreact. I think though even if got up to running 10+ miles old habits will creep up and I will still have some self-doubt. One thing I don’t doubt is that I’m a runner. It took me a while to call myself a runner, but glad I now have the confidence to. Well, lets see what kind of long run I can pull off this weekend. I know it will be hot and windy out, so I either will make the run early or just run in the evening.
I was hoping to get in 8-9 miles for this week’s long run, but could only do 7 miles due to the hot weather. When looking at the weather.com app it didn’t seem like it would get hot till later in the morning. I also figured since I had an errand to run, I would literally run to my errand and then continue on my run. My run started off ok, but after continuing on my run after my errand I just wasn’t feeling it. The heat was just getting to me. Even good music couldn’t keep me running. Something was just off about my run. I as I left I realized that I forgot my Garmin watch, but I didn’t want to run back to get it. My nose wasn’t happy with the weather and I didn’t pack my mid-run snack of raisins. Next weekend the weather looks decent, but sometimes weather forecast can change mid week. Hopefully next week I’ll be better prepped and the weather will be decent.
This week my plan was for 8 miles, but I was only able to pull off 5 miles due to time constraints. It’s about less than 4 weeks before the race. Naturally, I’m having self-doubt, but at the same time I know I can do it. I’m going to try running the race without taking any walking breaks, but we’ll see how that goes since it’s only my 2nd half marathon. Naturally, I might take a water break, but besides that, I’m going to try not stop if I can. Racing has always been exciting and something to look forward to. I think if there weren’t races I probably wouldn’t enjoy running or still be running. Part of me wishes I had more time to train, but at the same time, I’m just ready for the excitement of race day. This coming weekend I’m not sure if I want to do 8 or 9 miles. I guess I’ll just see how I feel when I’m running.
I’m beginning to learn that running is more a mental thing than a physical thing for me. I have those physical days where I either don’t have the time or I’m too tired to run, but overall running is more a mental thing. This week I knew my long run was going to be 7 miles. My plan was to run to the treadmill studio, take the class, and then run home. In the end, that plan went out the window, but I still made it to class. In my class, I ran approximately 2+ miles and did some arm work. Normally I would call that a day and work in the long run the following week, but since my body was feeling good I figured I would try for a long run the next day, Sunday. The weather in the mornings have been nice and breezy so I was able to utilize that. Well, I was able to crank out 7.25 miles. I probably could have run 8 miles, but I didn’t want to overdo it. Sometimes the difficulty I have when running is just old habits of putting myself down or thinking negative thoughts. These days I just find ways of making running fun or something to look forward to. I reused my trick the last time I was training for a half, by letting myself download new music only I long run days. This week the weather is going to be hotter, but hopefully, I can catch a breezy window of opportunity to run in the morning. 3 more weeks before its time to run the Rock N Roll Los Angeles half marathon.
On another note, while I was browsing TJ Maxx I was able to score this massage stick for only $7.99. This stick was helpful after my long run. I feel like with foam rolling if you are not doing it the right way then you don’t really benefit from foam rolling. Also since my legs didn’t feel super sore or tight this was a good alternative aka I was just lazy to foam roll. Hahaha.
After my doing my 6 miles long run my running got side tracked with the busyness of life. I decided for my birthday week I would make up for it by running everyday and adding an mile everyday till my birthday. Kind of a game to see if I could do it. As luck would have the total milage was 15 miles and my birthday is on the 15 so it worked out perfectly. The thought crossed my mind of just doing 1.5 miles on the 15, but I knew that would be too easy. Mother nature worked out this week and the weather in the morning was in the high 60s to low 70s. I only ran in the evenings or the gym because of the summer heat. It’s so much nicer to be able to run in the morning and get that over with. I got to admit those self help gurus are right, when you get to bed early waking up early isn’t as bad. Only thing that I didn’t really have time for was properly stretching or foam rolling, so now I am feeling the effects of that. I was considering maybe running for a full 7 days, but I know that wouldn’t be good on my legs. The best thing to do is just to go back to my half marathon training schedule. This birthday week run though is something I’m going to try to do every year. Its not too difficult, but yet its still challenging.