Tag Archives: long run

love you long (run) time.

12 Feb

Please accept my sincere apologies with the sporadic blogging.  I’ve been busy — but mostly I’ve been absent because my computer died on Sunday night.  I should have known better to try and install OS X.  No worries, Old Faithful will be back in my hands tomorrow.

Since I last posted, I have logged two long runs — I did 14 miles last Monday morning, and 20 this Monday, and both were fantastic.  I wanted to share a few aspects of what made them so great.

First, I love running on Monday mornings.  For me, it is mentally easier to kick off the week with a long run, rather than have it looming over me all week.  Also, it’s nice to be able to stay up later drink more IPAs on Friday and Saturday nights.

I also realized that NOT doing a straight out-and back run helps immensely.  For my 14-miler,  I ran 8.5 miles out along Wilshire, came back 5.5, and then hopped on the metro the last 3.  It was so much more entertaining because I had that many more new, fun things to keep me entertained.

A little bit after mile 6 I stopped at LACMA’s Urban Light exhibit…

IMG_5780… and then cruised through the infamous Rodeo Drive a few miles later…


My turn around point was Wilshire and Santa Monica, where I snapped this pic: IMG_5790This run was relaxed and relatively speedy — I felt fine and could have kept going.  When I stopped at Mile 14, I hit up a 7-11 for a big bottle of water before hopping on the metro to take me from K-Town back to DTLA. 

I carried what I’ve been learning from these training runs into my 20 miler this week.  I mapped out a 20 mile route that my #DTLARunning group had done a couple of weeks ago.  Luckily,  my mom had the morning free and was going to be in LA, and offered to give me a ride from Santa Monica when I finished back to my apartment so I could shower and get ready for my 1:10 p.m. class.  I started downtown around 7:15 and took my time.  Most of the morning was spent along Sunset and Hollywood Blvd., and then I took Wilshire through Beverly Hills and Westwood, crossed the 405, and ended up in Brentwood for a few miles before ending up in Santa Monica (Wilshire and 26th).

I packed Clif Bloks (in Margarita flavor, duh) and took 3 of them every 5 miles (I took the last 3 at mile 18).

Surprisingly, my favorite place to run was in Hollywood, on Hollywood.   There was NO ONE on the street or the sidewalk at that hour, and I occupied myself reading all of the different names on the stars I passed.   I took this shot around mile 9:


At Mile 10, I found a 7-11, bought a water,  fiddled with my iPhone, and took some Clif Bloks before I headed back out.

I cruised along and took water around mile 14 again at some drinking fountains in Beverly Hills.


The run just sort of zipped along — it did NOT feel like I had spent about 2 hours and 40 minutes running.  As my run started clipping into the ‘teens, I kept thinking — there’s no way this is mile 16, maybe I’m only at mile 6?  And then I realized that I was in Westwood which is WAY more than 6 miles from DTLA.

I was surprised at how great I felt.  The combination of dressing smartly, taking a couple of salt pills, wearing Thirty48 socks and compression sleeves (love!) and being smart about fueling made this a great and enjoyable run.

I was also impressed by my pace — I kept an 8:13 average for the first 10 and a 7:57 average for the second 10.   Negative splits are HUGE for me and would be amazing to accomplish on marathon day — so I like the idea of starting out slow, warming up, and easing into BQ pace.  At the end, I felt tired (duh!) but not SUPER fatigued.  I felt sore, but not debilitated.  And I felt like I could have kept going, if I had to.


I am pumped about where I’m at with my training and I’m looking forward to March 9th! From here on out it’s focusing on maintenance, injury prevention (read: yoga on yoga on yoga) and making sure I’m good to go for race day.

[Thanks again for being my shuttle, mom!]

When’s your next race?

Do you have any training strategies? 


marathon mojo.

26 Jan

Sooooo I have a marathon coming up FAST.  I’m running the LA Marathon on March 9th.  My training was going well, right until the week I was scheduled to do my first really long run.  Instead of logging 16 miles two weeks ago, I was fighting a nasty head cold and couldn’t fathom walking down the block, let alone running — so I fell back a week.

Last week,  I wanted to hit 18, but only got to 15 total (3 early am + 12 later).  It was hot and hilly, and I had trouble getting into a groove.  My sports bra chafed (despite Body Glide) and left a large burn on my back.  Both calves charley horsed around mile 10, and I was dehydrated.  I also felt demoralized and started to wonder if I could do the marathon.  Sure,  I’d done one before but it was really taxing, both physically and mentally.

This last week, however, my marathon mojo was restored after my long run.  On Friday,  I got up at 5 am for Back on My Feet and logged two easy miles.  Then, I went home, had some oatmeal, changed into dry clothes, got all of my gear (and more Body Glide) and set out to log 18 miles.  I had a great run and want to share what made it so great.

Planning The Route

I took a little extra time to develop an 18 mile route that I was comfortable with and that would not destroy my body.  I decided to run the Rock n Roll Los Angeles 13.1 course for the first portion of my long run — it is relatively flat and I know it well, so that was less daunting.  From there, I ran down Sunset Blvd. and then Hollywood Blvd. to Western, and took the Metro home.  Having a route I was familiar with, combined with it not being an out and back made it much easier mentally.  The last three miles were gentle downhill, and scenic, which helped a lot.  The course was also filled with cool sites:

I ran around the LA Memorial Coliseum around mile 3.5-4.  Cool because of the USC Trojans 1984 Olympics.


I then went back through downtown the opposite way to 3rd, down to Central, and then over the 6th Street bridge.  I snapped this baby at mile 10.4.


From there, I headed over to Grand Park — here’s mile 12.8.


And then down Sunset through Echo Park and Silverlake into Hollywood.


As soon as I finished I refueled with some Jamba Juice and water.  I kept pace with my Garmin but it got a little messed up running through a tunnel and one other time when I forgot to re-set it, but my total run was 18 miles, 2.25 earlier in the day, so a total of over 20 for the day!  And weirdly enough, my pace was exactly BQ pace.  That’s not creepy at all.


Plan Your Nutrition

Another thing that helped me have a great run was plotting out my nutrition.  I had oatmeal and coffee about an hour before I headed out, and then took in some calories every 5 miles.  I split a pack of Clif Bloks at miles 5 and 10, and then took a gel at mile 15.  I didn’t carry water, but I hit up a drinking fountain at Grand Park (mile 12.8) and then bought a water bottle at a 7-11 at mile 15.  This helped me feel good and helped mentally as well.

Learn from Last Week’s Mistakes

Last week my calves were a major problem.  This week, the small addition of wearing compression sleeves made a HUGE difference — no charley horse issues at all!  I also brought some salt pills and took those at mile 10 and when I finished just to fend off any possible issues. Worked like a charm.

Break it Up

18 miles was easy to break up mentally — it was three 6-mile runs back to back!   This helped because I took a gel or bloks at miles 5, 10, and 15, so I had a milestone to look forward to often:

  • Bloks at Mile 5
  • First third done at Mile 6
  • Bloks again at Mile 10
  • Two thirds done at Mile 12
  • Gel at Mile 15
  • Done at Mile 18

Think Of the Little Things

Taking a few extra minutes to consider the little things also came in huge.  Here’s some things to consider when planning for a long run:

  • new playlist
  • charged iPod/Garmin
  • sunscreen/hat/sunglasses if necessary
  • socks that won’t leave you blistered or bloody
  • credit card and metro card

It is amazing the difference one run can make in my mentality — instead of feeling beaten down and warn out, I felt empowered and excited to take on the marathon distance again.

What makes (or breaks) a long run for you?  Please sound-off in the comments!