Back to Racing at the Rose Bowl

The last year of running has been extremely challenging for me as I’ve dealt with several nagging injuries that have derailed my training. It started with shin splints and some type of hip or groin pain right before the London Marathon. That sent me to the pool for aqua jogging for a couple weeks and got me out of my routine.

After the race, I took some time off to heal and came back but then dealt with a calf strain that hampered me for a couple months. I also gained 5 to 10 pounds which I still haven’t lost and which slow me down a bit. I decided to take it easy with my training in the buildup to the Tokyo Marathon on March 3rd, which will be my sixth World Marathon Major. However, I then got a strain in my piriformis muscle. That sidelined me in December for about two weeks as my training was just starting to pick up. This was very frustrating to say the least. All these nagging soft tissue injuries were all on my right side. I decided to visit a professional and find out what was up and learn how to prevent these injuries. I had been doing a stretching routine before and after runs consistently so I was quite bothered when my piriformis muscle was hurting. I contacted chiropractor Steve Smith based in Pasadena. He’s a runner himself and specializes in treating runners. I figured if anyone can help me it’d be a fellow runner. He’s written a book about healthy running and also founded the well-known and popular Pasadena Pacers running club.

After asking about my running history, training, shoes and other information he told me everything I was generally doing was fine. He did say sometimes after marathons, the body is worn out and may seem fine but isn’t fully recovered which could lead to soft tissue injuries if a runner isn’t careful. He suspects this could’ve been the case after London and even in 2017 after the Berlin Marathon.

Upon physical examination, he quickly found the problem, which was my piriformis muscle. That muscle can put pressure on the sciatic nerve which can cause pain down the leg. He said I could run still but to take it easy until the pain goes away. I got a deep tissue massage and electric stimulation. I did that twice and it helped immensely. After just two visits in three days, the pain started to go away.

I picked up my training toward the end of December but only had four weeks until the Pasadena Half Marathon. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run the race as fast as I would like since my training was limited and stalled. I was able to bounce back and decided to treat the race almost as a tempo run leading up to the goal race which is obviously the Tokyo Marathon. My best time on the Pasadena Half course was 1:19:21 set in 2013. I ran 1:20:43 last year but knew both those times were not realistic and chasing them could strain my body ahead of Tokyo which would not be worth it.

I didn’t have a time goal but felt if I could run under 1:25 then that’d show me I have a pretty good chance to run sub-3 in Tokyo. I felt if I could manage a 6:25-6:28 pace that would be sufficient as I’d have about four to five more weeks to improve before Tokyo.

Me after the race in front of the Rose Bowl

Fortunately, muscle memory exists. Your body and mind get trained to do something and doing it again comes back quicker than you think. This race is also my first since London. Since I started running again as an adult in 2009, I had never taken this much time in-between races, which was just about nine months! That’s just too long.

Anyway, race morning arrived. I woke up, drank beet juice and a bit of my hydration drink, some Gu energy gel and a banana. I stretched too and headed down to the Rose Bowl where the start and finish are.

Lucky for me, I didn’t have to drive. It was a nice walk/warm-up jog of about one mile. I arrived and saw thousands of people there getting ready to run and accomplish their personal goals which is always inspiring. Starting outside of and finishing on the field of such an iconic stadium makes this race worth it.

The course isn’t easy nor is it extremely tough. I’d call it challenging. It’s hilly but not terrible. There’s a long hill at the end of mile 2 up California Blvd. and a shorter steep incline up Colorado Blvd. headed to the historic Colorado Street Bridge. There are also period of gradual uphill and downhill. The last mile is all downhill which is a relief. That last mile finishes a loop around the Rose Bowl and adjacent Brookside Golf Course. The toughest part of the course is between miles six and nine because almost all of it is gradual uphill and includes the incline up Colorado Blvd.

The great part about the race is you pass by the city’s hot spots from, obviously, the Rose Bowl to Orange Grove Blvd. (where the Rose Parade begins) to Colorado Blvd. (which used to be part of Route 66) to Lake Ave. (known for shopping and restaurants) to Caltech (one of the best universities in the world) and then back to the Rose Bowl with a finish at the 50-yard-line.

Beer tastes better after a race

Before the start, as I was in the corral, I told myself not to go out too hard. It wasn’t worth exhausting myself. This was to be a marathon training run to show myself I’m in shape enough to run at or a bit faster than my idea goal marathon pace. This was important because my ego can sometimes get in the way and I want to try to best my previous times on the same course. This is where mental discipline comes into play.

The race started and thousands of us were off! My first mile was at 6:14. I wanted it slower at about 6:25 to 6:30 but that was ok since a good portion of it was downhill. My second mile was slower at 6:24 but under 6:30 which was good. My 5k time was under 20 minutes at 19:48. I felt comfortable which was good but I also felt that I couldn’t really run much faster, and if I tried, I’d exhaust myself quickly. As the race progressed, I followed about 10 seconds behind a pack for much of the way. My mile splits were mostly consistent if you factor in the gradual up and down. My lovely wife saw me just before mile 3 and at mile 8.5 (both in the same spots at the top of Colorado Blvd.) and said I looked the same and didn’t look to be in pain. I wasn’t.

As I headed down from the Colorado Street Bridge to the Rose Bowl for the loop around, I saw my 10-mile time and figured I’d have a good chance at sub-1:25 which would be good. My 11th and 12th miles were my slowest of the race (6:36 and 6:33) but almost all of that stretch was gradual uphill. Mile 13 was my fastest (6:10) but that was all downhill.

Of course, because it’s a half marathon, I felt fatigued toward the end like most everyone but not exhausted and worn out. My wife saw me with about a quarter-mile left and said I looked the same as earlier. I felt a bit tired but not weak. I didn’t have much of a kick and cruised to the finish line in 1:23:40–good enough for 29th place and 5th in my 40-44 age group.


Me and the wife. I ran but she got the blister

Even though my time was three minutes slower than last year, I was pleased to make it through without any pain and without my legs feeling like mush. The bottom of my feet toward the end were burning just a bit so I’ll have to find new shoes for the marathon but that wasn’t a big deal. My time, I believe, puts me on track for a sub-3 at Tokyo. But there’s still work to be done in the next few weeks.

My legs feel fine now though I can tell I did run a half. I’ll be back out training this week but on the easier side. My goal in the next few weeks is to run three 20-miler long runs, two to three tempo runs of 10 to 12 miles and at least one 8 x 1-mile interval workout or a 3 x 5k interval or both. That’s ambitious but I’m feeling good physically and this race gave me the added confidence that I can make a sub-3 happen in Tokyo. I don’t expect to run a a personal best but I don’t have to.


I’m a Bruin. He’s a Bruin. We’re at the football home of the Bruins. This picture just made sense

The lesson here is to keep pushing to bounce back and please be patient. You have the time. Races aren’t going anywhere. Gradually build up again and don’t worry if you’re not hitting past times yet. You’ll get there. I’m not hitting those times yet but in four to six months, I might be. Who knows? Trust in your training and trust in yourself to make it back from a setback or two or several.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #18 Training Is Over…Time to Race Prep

Training for this marathon has been the most difficult by far. First, I dealt with a setback in late December when I came down with some kind of nasty virus. It wasn’t the flu but it certainly seemed stronger than a cold. That derailed my training for a bit as I felt weak and awful when running. I had a decent performance in the Pasadena Half Marathon despite the setback. After the race, I was able to resume normal training until the end of March when shin splints and some kind of groin strain (likely caused by me altering my gait due to the shin splints) forced me into the pool for some aqua jogging and also onto a stationary bike. This happened just as I was about to enter my peak training week then taper. Also, as life goes, there were some things outside of my training that took my mind off of running.

I was able to run this week for four consecutive days. My pacing was good. The groin area is still tender but under control, meaning it was no bother as long as I didn’t overextend my leg. The shin splint pain is much less to the point that my gait is not altered anymore and I can run normally. However, the four consecutive days has left my legs a little achy and sore. I’ve been rolling my legs everyday with a foam roller and hand roller to loosen and relax the muscles. Yet, they’re still achy. I think three days off of running before the race should fix that.

Now, race day is approaching. There is nothing more I can do to improve my fitness ahead of the race. Whatever hay is in the barn stays there as the barn is now locked. How do I feel? Honestly, this is the worst physically I’ve ever felt before a race. Achy legs, shin splint, groin issue, etc. I’m optimistic my body will survive but a marathon is a long race and everything needs to be just right to have a solid performance. It’s a long grueling ordeal. Fortunately, my body and mind have experience with said ordeal. While I’m a bit nervous about my body holding up, I’m getting excited ahead of the race. Traveling to London to run a marathon is a huge treat. It’s an even bigger treat to run for charity. I want to thank everyone who donated. (you can still donate here) But I especially want to thank my brother, Matt Morrison. His substantial and generous donation to Livability is helping a lot of disabled people connect with their communities. He also said he wanted to ensure I would reach my fundraising goal so I could concentrate on training as he wants to see me perform well. I’m humbled by his selflessness. I hope I can make him proud with my performance as I’m dedicating my race to both Livability and Matt.

I leave for the airport now with my amazing wife who continues to put up with my running neuroses. To make it up to her, we’re going to have a nice vacation sightseeing in London and nearby areas.

Maker:S,Date:2017-1-9,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-Y
I’m ready to go! WMM #5! 

The London Marathon promises to be an amazing experience regardless of my individual performance. The elite men and women fields are arguably the most talented ever so racing fans are in for what could be thrilling races on both sides. I’ll get to connect with people from Livability as millions of dollars/pounds will be raised for numerous charities by thousands of people who get to run on the streets of London. The energy will be electric and the crowds will be loud. I can’t wait! Life is good! Hail Britannia!

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #13 Day 4 A Tough Tempo Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly cloudy, 63 degrees

Type of Run: Tempo

Length: 9.08 miles

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill around Rose Bowl 5k route, one downhill descent and some flat

Time: 58  minutes, 8 seconds

Pace per mile: 6:24

Reason for Run: A tempo run is a workout done at a comfortably hard pace. The purpose is to build stamina and strength. You want your body to be able to handle the intensity of a race. For that to happen, it has to get used to running hard. A tempo run prepares the body for what it’ll feel like during a race because, unlike an interval session, there’s no stopping to rest. I think the pace for a tempo run should be between half-marathon and marathon pace depending on the route you’re running and how you feel that day. If it’s slower than marathon pace, that’s ok as long as the effort feels challenging.

How did I feel? Ok. My legs are feeling the fatigue of increased mileage. This tempo run was much better than what I attempted last week when I had to stop because of fatigue, possible dehydration, lack of sleep and anxiety. That was a terrible run. This tempo run was completed at around marathon pace so the slower end of what I want. Considering my leg fatigue and distance, that’s not bad. Plus, my mile splits were fairly consistent. There was no wild swing. It’s hard to push the pace when your legs only want to move so fast. However, that’s good preparation for a marathon because you’ll have to push when the legs start to fatigue noticeably after about 15 miles. If I can handle it now then I can handle it during a race. If you’re wondering, this leg fatigue is a normal part of marathon training, especially when boosting weekly mileage and extending long runs past 18 miles.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #12 Review–Ups and Downs and Ups Again

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Due to what was a hectic and busy week outside of running, I was unable to post with a daily journal entry. Instead of combining all six days of training, I’ll just sum everything up in a week-in-review and we’ll see how it goes.

Total Miles: 61.7

The mileage total was about what I wanted heading into the last hard phase of training. My goal is to do at least four consecutive weeks of 60 to 70 miles. If I can, I’d like to go over 70 two of these weeks but we’ll see how things shape up.

The week started with an 8.5 mile run that was fine and uneventful. My long run was the 20-miler. I plan to do four of these 20-milers  before the big race and this was the first. I ran at night due to my schedule. I always seem to run slower at night. Maybe it’s my subconscious slowing me down because of the lack of vision of the road…I don’t know. I took it easy anyway. The weather was nice and cool and I finished the run with no real problems. Yes, I was worn out as I always am after a 20-miler but I didn’t feel completely exhausted.

I ran my 6-mile recovery run the next day at night and completed the run but the time was slower than what the effort felt. I wanted to take the run easy and I did time-wise and effort-wise but it still felt slower than my perceived effort. What does this mean? It probably just means I’m a little fatigued.

Due to work scheduling, I woke up at 4am the next day, to attempt a tempo run of between 8.5 and 9 miles. I knew this would be hard and I was dreading such a long and busy day anyway since I wouldn’t be home from 7:15am until 10pm. I already convinced myself this day would be no fun for me. Clearly, not a good way to start the day with that type of thinking. I started my run just before 5am. It was dark and I’d knew my time would be slower than what I hoped. I told myself it’s ok as long as the effort is strong. Sure enough, the first mile was 6:50 which is slower than a typical tempo run. The second mile was mostly downhill so it was faster.

When I hit mile four, I started to feel fatigue. My legs started to hurt more and I had a nervous sensation in my chest. It wasn’t connected to my heart rate as that was normal but I felt anxious. I also developed a headache. I think that was due to possible dehydration because I didn’t drink a lot of water the previous day or after my long run. At the 4.75-mile mark I stopped. I simply ran out of gas. My legs didn’t want to continue. I rested for a minute or so but was determined to finish the run. I continued but kept stopping every quarter-mile to half-mile. I would rest about a minute then continue again. It was a struggle. Running uphill felt like the hardest thing in the world. I never felt this way before during any run. I have stopped in the middle of a run and I have felt bad but not like this. I stubbornly ran/stopped/ran/stopped until finishing a little over eight miles. Finishing those final three-plus miles was pointless and did nothing to help me other than add to my mileage total. I couldn’t even run them hard.  I think dehydration was a factor as was lack of sleep, proper eating and stress/anxiety. Not only was I physically unprepared to run long and fast but I wasn’t mentally ready either. I made sure I drank lots of water the rest of the day and ate. I also told myself one bad run is no big deal and I’ll bounce back.

I did bounce back. I ran in the early evening the next day which gave my legs about 36 hours of recovery. It helped when I ran my 12-mile semi-long run. The run was fine. I felt good and my legs didn’t feel worn out. I felt better mentally too as I knew I had a day off the next day which would give me a chance to sleep-in and focus just on running.

The week ended with a descending/ascending interval workout. I ran four sets of 1-mile-800 meters-400 meters which totaled nearly 7 miles. I gave myself about two minutes to 2:15 of recovery between each rep. This workout teaches the body to adjust to different paces since I run each distance at a different pace. In races, you need to be able to pick up the pace or slow down sometimes. If you practice doing that, it becomes easier to manage in a race. This workout was the best interval workout I’ve had since training for the Berlin Marathon. My times were better than I thought and my legs held up well. This workout gave me additional confidence heading into the next three difficult weeks of training.

I started the week off well, finishing a 20-miler with no major struggle, followed by a disaster of a tempo run that may have been my worst ever. I then recovered and had a very good interval workout two days later. The body and mind are quick with the recovery. The mind is quick if you tell yourself it’s ok to have a bad day as long as you know why you had it and learn from it.

Let’s move on to Week #13.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #11 Day 4 The Semi-Long Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Partly cloudy, 62 degrees

Type of Run: Semi-long

Length: 10.26 miles

Type of route: Gradual uphill and downhill, some flat, four hill climbs, three downhill descents

Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes, 51 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:24

Reason for Run: This is the semi-long run for the week which is longer than the usual runs but shorter than the long run. As I’ve stated before, I like it to be between 10 and 14 miles. This run helps build endurance. Usually, the pace is a little faster than long run pace. Since this is a recovery week, I opted not to shorten this run’s distance because my interval/speed workout will be shorter than usual and I’ll probably take an extra rest day.

How did I feel? Decent. I kept the pace comfortable mostly. My legs did feel a bit worn out and fatigued, probably from yesterday’s negative-split tempo run and probably from earlier in the week. I should be fine though as I plan to take two of the next three days off. I ran in new shoes today which felt fine. I always like getting new shoes especially when I can find good deals and I got a good deal on this pair. So while today wasn’t the best day in terms of feeling great it also wasn’t the worst day either. Sometimes you have so-so days. All you can do is shrug your shoulders and move on.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #11 Day 1 The “Recovery” Week Begins and I Met A Fellow Runner

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Mostly sunny, 64 degrees

Type of Run: Long

Length: 16.08 miles

Type of route: Some flat, gradual uphill and downhill with two downhill descents and two uphill climbs

Time: 2 hours, 9 seconds

Pace per mile: 7:28

Reason for Run: The weekly long run is designed to build endurance and strength. This long run was shorter than the previous two weeks because this is a recovery week in which I drop the mileage and intensity of the workouts to rest my legs. The long run is done at an easy and manageable pace.

How did I feel? Decent. I started at a comfortable pace and kept things relaxed. I actually met a fellow runner about 6 miles in. I caught up to him going up a small hill then he struck up a conversation, saying it was nice to run with someone. We ran together and chatted. It turns out he’s training for the Los Angeles Marathon with the hope of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. Based on his pacing and training times, I’d say he’s in great shape to do so. It turns out we live on the same street a few blocks away. I gave him advice on the LA Marathon course and what to expect. He seems mentally ready for it already so I expect good things.

His training called for him to stop after running with me for a little over four miles. He was about 10 miles into his run. I continued. At about mile 11, my legs started to feel worn out. This was a little surprising considering my legs held up well during my last two long runs. I attribute this to possible glycogen depletion and maybe overall fatigue from the previous four weeks of training. I’m not concerned just a bit surprised. I finished the run and drank a recovery shake with protein to help with muscle recovery. I’m hoping the lower mileage and less intensity this week will allow my legs some rest and my body to lock-in gains made the past few weeks.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #10 Days 5 and 6 Closing Out a 4 Tough Weeks

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Sunny 56 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 59 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Easy, Day 2–Intervals/Speed

Lengths: Day 1–8.34 miles, Day 2–5.59  miles (6 x 1,500 meters)

Types of routes: Day 1–gradual uphill and downhill with one uphill climb and two downhill descents; Day 2-400-meter oval track

Times: Day 1–1 hour, 7 seconds; Day 2–32 minutes, 6 seconds (5:26, 5:19, 5:22, 5:21, 5:19, 5:19)

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:12, Day 2–5:45

Reason for Run: Day 1–This was an easy run meant to add to the weekly mileage total. This easy run is longer than the easy/recovery run following the long run. I like this run to be anywhere from 7 to 10 miles. The pace should be comfortable. This run is easy because it’s usually sandwiched between the tempo run and an interval/speed workout and is done either a day before or after the semi-long run.

Day 2–This interval workout is meant to improve running economy and efficiency. It helps the body get used to the intense effort of a race. I chose to do longer intervals (1,500-meter reps) to work on pacing, leg turnover and build strength. I decided on 1,500 meters to mix thing up. I don’t want to get bored always doing 1-mile repeats so I thought I’d change it up a bit. I wanted my pacing to be at least slightly faster than half-marathon pace but not too fast that it’d wear me out. I ended up running these at around 10k pace. I gave myself between 2:00 and 2:15 of rest between each interval. I didn’t want my body to get too much rest between each interval because there’s no rest during a race. This article here explains why intervals are so beneficial.

How did I feel? Day 1–Not bad. My legs were a little worn from all the running in the prior days but I kept the pace comfortable so it wasn’t difficult to complete this run. I just wanted to get the mileage in without any struggle and I was able to do that.

Day 2–Fine. My legs are getting stronger each week during interval workouts so I’m happy with that. This wasn’t an easy workout though given the shorter rest time. I was pleased my reps were consistent and that the pacing was where I was hoping it’d be. The plus was that I felt I had one to two more reps in me if needed but my legs were definitely happy this workout finished when it did. This concluded four straight tough weeks in which I averaged 56 to 57 miles a week. This upcoming week will be a recovery week of sorts meaning I’ll take it easier and decrease the mileage. The purpose is to rest my legs a bit so my body can recover and lock-in the gains that were made during these four weeks. After that will be four straight weeks of, hopefully, around 60 to 70 miles per week.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #9 Days 5 and 6 Week #10 Day 1 An Uphill Run, Yasso 800s and a Quality Long Run

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena and La Canada, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Sunny 72 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 73 degrees, Day 3–Mostly cloudy 56 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Easy with hills, Day 2–Speed/Intervals, Day 3–Long

Lengths: Day 1–8.41 miles, Day 2–4.97 miles (10 x 800-meters), Day 3–18.1 miles

Types of routes: Day 1–gradual downhill, long gradual uphill climb, two uphill climbs and two downhill descents; Day 2–400-meter oval track; Day 3–gradual uphill and downhill with one downhill climb and some flat

Times: Day 1–1 hour, 1 minute, 42 seconds; Day 2– 28 minutes, 12 seconds (2:49, 2:49, 2:47, 2:49, 2:48, 2:49, 2:49, 2:51, 2:48, 2:49); Day 3–2 hours, 8 minutes, 9 seconds

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:20, Day 2–5:40, Day 3–7:05

Reason for Run: Day 1–This was an easy run done at a comfortable pace. The purpose is to rack up the mileage but not too much on this run so anywhere from 7 to 10 miles should be enough. I chose a hilly route for an added challenge and to build muscle strength..

Day 2–This was the weekly speed/interval workout which has the purpose of building leg speed, turnover and efficiency. Interval workouts help the body prepare for the higher intensity of races since you run intervals at a higher intensity. I chose to run what are called Yasso 800s. Clicking on the link can explain what they are. I gave myself  about 1:30 of  recovery time between each rep. The thinking is that your times for the 800-meter repeats can predict your  marathon time. For example, a 2:50 repeat would mean you can run a 2 hour, 50 minute marathon. A 3:00 repeat means you can run a 3 hour marathon. There’s some debate about whether there’s a direct correlation. Either way, 800-meter repeats are great workouts because you can sustain a high intensity for at least a couple minutes. My pace was about 5:40 per mile which is about my 10k race pace.

Day 3–I took a day off  in-between the interval session and the long run. I wanted to give my legs a day off. I decided I was ready for a tougher long run. Usually, long runs are done at a very easy pace with the goal of building endurance and strength. A long run helps the body become more efficient at burning both glycogen and fat. Today, I decided again to mix in some hard efforts during the run. The hard efforts would be done at marathon pace or a little slower. I ran the first 4 miles easy, the next 3 hard, the next 3 easy, the next 2 hard, the next 3 easy and the final 3 hard for a total of 8 hard miles and 10 easy miles. The goal of the harder increments is to prepare for the marathon itself. I want to be able to pick up the pace in the middle of the long run at various points. I purposely finished the long run with a hard effort to get my tired legs stronger and more used to running hard at the end of the long run which is what will happen in a marathon. This type of long run shouldn’t be done all the time because it’ll wear the legs out but maybe once every four weeks at most. I was able to hit marathon pace roughly for the first 3-mile effort (6:24 per mile) but I was slower for the 2-mile (6:45 per mile)  and final 3-mile effort (6:42 per mile). That’s ok though because the goal was to push the pace on tired legs which I did.

How did I feel? Day 1–Fine. This run was challenging because of the hills. I was comfortable with my pace. My legs were a little tired from the workouts earlier in the week but overall it was a typical run.

Day 2–Decent. My legs felt a little worn still like they did the day before. This was a tougher workout than I expected, maybe because I was tired from lack of sleep the day before due to my work schedule. I felt I should’ve run each rep 2 to 3 seconds faster but my times during this stage of training were acceptable. My legs felt stronger than the previous couple interval workouts too so that was good.

Day 3–Good. The weather was cooler but also a bit windy. I don’t like running in the wind but it wasn’t bad. My legs felt good during and after the workout. They were worn out when I stopped which is typical after running so long, however, they’ve been worse after much slower runs. Picking up the pace when I had to was fine. There was no point that I felt tired or exhausted. Mentally, I felt confident which helped make the run easier to handle. I felt good and I felt strong.

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #7 Days 6 and 7 A Solid Week

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

NOTE #2: I’m combining multiple days

Locations: Pasadena, CA. and La Canada-Flintridge, CA.

Temperatures: Day 1–Mostly Sunny, 82 degrees, Day 2–Sunny 78 degrees

Types of Run: Day 1–Semi-long, Day 2–Speed/Intervals

Lengths: Day 1–9.2 miles, Day 2–4.54 miles (5×400-meters, 1-mile, 5×300-meters, 1200-meters, 5×200-meters)

Types of routes: Day 1–four uphill climbs, three downhill descents, gradual uphill and downhill; Day 2–400-meter oval track

Times: Day 1–1 hour, 9 minutes, 7 seconds; Day 2–24 minutes, 10 seconds (1:19, 1:16, 1:17, 1:18, 1:17; 5:45; :57, :57, :57, :56, :57; 4:15; :36, :36, :36, :35, :36)

Paces per mile: Day 1–7:31, Day 2–5:19

Reason for Run: Day 1–This is a semi-long run. The goal is to boost endurance by doing one run a week during marathon training that is longer than normal but shorter than your long run. This particular semi-long run is on the shorter end because I’m slowly building the mileage back up. Ideally, a semi-long run should be anywhere from 10-15 miles. I usually will top out at 13 miles.

Day 2–Interval or speed workouts are designed to boost running efficiency and intensity. They are supposed to mimic a race effort so your body can get used to the effort. This particular workout I did is my favorite interval workout. It’s a mixture of shorter intervals with two long ones (1-mile and 1200-meters). By mixing the distances of the intervals, the body is forced to change paces. I started with 5 x 400-meters then went to the mile before doing 5 x 300 meters, etc. I finished with 5 x 200-meters. By running the shortest and most intense intervals on tired legs, my body and legs now know how it feels to run fast on tired legs. This can be beneficial late in a race if I need to increase my pace to either beat other runners or achieve a time goal.

How did I feel? Day 1–Fine. It was warm but I wanted to keep the pace nice and smooth. I didn’t want to burn my legs out before an interval workout. The hills on this run make it challenging but I finished without any struggles or difficulty.

Day 2–Fine. I felt much better than the last interval workout I did in which my legs felt way too tired. I can tell my legs are getting used to a normal training routine again. It wasn’t my fastest interval workout in terms of pace but it wasn’t my slowest either. My legs still felt a little fatigued but that could be because of running for 11 straight days. The warmer weather doesn’t help in terms of flying through intense workouts but it wasn’t so hot that it slowed me down considerably. I’m hoping on improving on my speed and endurance in the upcoming weeks.

 

Running With You,

Donald

London Marathon Training Week #7 Day 4 A Warm Tempo Run in January

NOTE: For those of you interested in donating to the charity I’m running for in London please click on this LINK.

Location: Pasadena, CA.

Temperature: Sunny, 80 degrees

Type of Run: Tempo

Length: 7.01 miles

Type of route: One downhill descent with gradual uphill and downhill (most of route was two times around Rose Bowl 5k loop)

Time: 43 minutes, 53 seconds

Pace per mile: 6:16

Reason for Run: A tempo run is a hard effort workout. It’s supposed to be done at a comfortably hard pace–meaning it’s fast but not race pace. At the end of the run you should feel you have more in the tank. The tempo run has multiple purposes. It mimics a race effort so the body gets used to running hard. It also builds endurance. The longer the tempo run, the slower the pace will be, naturally. I can sustain a harder effort for three miles than I can seven. For a seven mile tempo run my comfortably hard pace is between half-marathon and marathon pace which is what I ran today.

How did I feel? Mostly good but it was quite warm for a January. I tried a new pair of shoes I bought recently. They felt comfortable so that was a positive. I was content with my mile splits and pacing especially in the warmer weather. I did slow down on the fifth mile but it was all gradual uphill and it was warm. But I did recover with better times for the final two miles.  I was starting to get fatigued toward the end but I think that was mostly due to the warmer weather taking its toll than anything. My legs and body felt good and withstood this tempo run.

Running With You,

Donald