Los Angeles August 2017 Day 1 Run

The first run from my August 2017 trip to Los Angeles.

The first day after landing in LA was a busy one. My friend earned his PHD, so there was a lot of champagne drinking and chocolate cake eating. Eventually by the early evening I decided to go on my favorite running route, down a bike / run path which leads right to the beach.

Beach running gif

My run was a 6 mile progressive run there, took a break at the beach to go to my spot out on the rocks, and then did 7 less aggressive progressive miles back. Had to take that break to snap some pics of the setting sun:

LA Sunset Beach

My paces were:

  • Mile 1- 7:18
  • Mile 2- 7:01
  • Mile 3- 6:59
  • Mile 4- 6:48
  • Mile 5- 6:20
  • Mile 6- 6:11
  • Mile 7- 8:00
  • Mile 8- 7:51
  • Mile 9- 7:35
  • Mile 10- 7:24
  • Mile 11- 7:12
  • Mile 12- 7:09
  • Mile 13- 6:46

13.4 miles | 1:35:59 | 7:09/mi

The run felt great. It was hot all day but by the evening it started cooling down, and of course there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.

So far Cali life has been good!

Landed In Los Angeles

Just made it to La La Land!

This warm weather is refreshing, and apparently it’s going to be in the upper 90’s for the next few days. Quite a shock to the system… Fortunately I enjoy hot weather running, but dayum. Glad I brought my big handheld water bottle.

I don’t have a run planned for the rest of the day. I got up a little extra early this morning to put in 6 miles before my flight. I’ll just be resting and figuring out what run to do tomorrow. It’s nice being somewhere where the biggest decision you have to make each day is where to run and what to eat.

That actually sounds like the ideal retirement. If I’m lucky enough to still be running by the time I’m old and retired, I hope my life is led by those two decisions; where to run and what to eat. I’ll know I’ve led a successful life if those are my biggest concerns in 40 years.

#Goals

Running Summary: Week Of 8/21/17 – 8/27/17

Running summary of the past week of training for the Marine Corps Marathon.

General Reflections: This past week started off strong but had a disappointing finish.

  • Monday: 10 easy miles
  • Tuesday: 12 (hot) miles. Some 800 and 400 track intervals
  • Wednesday: 8 easy miles
  • Thursday: 12 mile fartlek, then 3 easy miles later that evening.
  • Friday: 8.6 trail miles
  • Saturday: 21 miles, half on trails.
  • Sunday: 6 recovery miles

Weekly Totals: 81.4 miles. 4,587 ft elevation gain

Favorite Workout: My Thursday and Friday runs.

Thursday I had a fartlek run (strava info), rotating between 2 minutes of fast running and 2 minutes of easy running for the first part. I finished the run with 3 fast miles, with 0.5 miles of recover between each one. My times for those fast miles were 5:35, 5:45, 5:40, and I was very happy with those miles especially because I had just run 8 miles of fartlek right before them.

Friday (strava info) I ran around a state park and got lost, and it was a blast. I talked a little about in this post.

Biggest Issues: Saturday’s long run was pretty good. My knees were really sore after it but I was able to finish without issue. The problem was, that night I wound up eating a ton of junk food. I used the calories I burned from the long run to convince myself it was ok, but I went way overboard (for the day I went over 5,000 calories including a carton of ice cream…). I also was up late that night because of the Mayweather – McGregor fight, which led to more eating. But, excuses excuses. I messed up.

On Sunday I was feeling sluggish and could only manage 6 recovery miles. So my eating mistake on Saturday cost me a decent run and left me feeling lousy all Sunday. I’ll probably take it very easy today (Monday) also.

Lesson: Having cheat days and overeating occasionally is not a big deal but going overboard can potentially cost you a couple workouts. So even when giving in to temptation, be careful.

Next Week: I’ll be in Los Angeles most of next week, so I’ll hopefully get a ton of mileage in with new scenery.

Running Away To LA

Upcoming running vacation (run-cation) to Los Angeles

I’ll be shipping out west soon. Well, flying, but you get the picture.

Los Angeles is such a great running city. Sunny weather every day, an abundance of running / bike paths, even trails.

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood sign hike anyone?

This trip I plan on doing a Runyon Canyon run, a Griffith Park run, and the Santa Monica Mountains. The first two I’ve hiked before but never ran, and the Santa Monica Mountains I’ve heard are great for trail running but I’ve never been.

It’ll be a nice change of scenery, and I’m looking forward to seeing my two close friends who live out there.

Runyon Canyon
Runyon Canyon

The day before my flight and the day of will be very light on miles. Hopefully that little taper will be enough to prepare my legs for the hell I plan on putting them through.

I’ll be sure to post about any adventures I get myself into!

 

Do any of you also go on occasional run-cations? Any top cities you like to travel to for running?

Running Lost In The Woods

Trail running and getting lost in the woods

Does it count as getting lost if you did it on purpose?

There’s this state forest I go to sometimes when I just want to run around in nature (edit: I recorded some video of my adventure if you want to check out the terrain). It has tons of different trails, and every time I go I try to follow one but always wind up losing it, and wind up somewhere I didn’t intend to (fortunately I always carry my phone with me and manage to find the path / somewhere familiar).

I treat these runs like an opportunity to leave my running comfort zone. There’s a whole different feeling to a run when you aren’t entirely sure where you are or where you’re going. The subtle feeling of panic that sets in adds a level of excitement. It’s a controlled panic mind you, I’m certainly not advocating for people putting themselves in dangerous situations. But going somewhere new on a run is a surefire way to spice up your running routine.

Ramapo Lake

Today I got a little extra lost, but it turned out fine of course. I knew I was never in any real trouble. I got about 8.5 miles of mountain and trail running in, explored some new areas of the forest, and just wanted to share with you all as I sit here at Starbucks hydrating and recovering.

Starbucks and Blogging

Is there anything you do to occasionally change up your routine? Ever go off down new roads or to new cities or parks to explore? Let me know!

 

NJ Balloon Festival: Running With The Balloons 5k Race Report

Race report from the 2017 QuickChek NJ Balloon Festival 5k

Last month I ran in the Running with the Balloons 5k at the 2017 QuickChek Festival of Ballooning in NJ . It was an interesting venue with a unique start to say the least, and a very fun experience. This race report is a little late, so I’ll keep it short and sweet.

  • Distance: 5k
  • Goal: sub 18:00 and get a new PR
  • Date: 7/30/17

So let’s talk about this race!

The race starts out in a grass field, after the hot air balloons have made their morning ascent. That was an incredible sight to take in. After the balloons were off in the distance, it was race time.

The first half mile or so was on that grass field, and the footing was a tad tricky. There were large tire tracks (maybe tractor tracks) on the ground, so I had to be extra careful with how my feet were landing. It was nice and flat at least.

After the grass section we got to a gravel road, which then led to a normal paved road. On the paved road there were a couple of hills which I was not expecting. I thought the course would be almost entirely flat since it was on an airfield, but the off-airfield sections had the hills.

For the first mile I was in a group of about 5 people, chasing the lead pack. I soon realized that if I wanted any chance to catch the leaders I’d have to make a move early, so I separated from the chase group and took off on my own.

The course was pretty uneventful until you get back to the airfield. Unfortunately the leaders were too far ahead and I was never able to catch them, but the chase group didn’t catch me either. I finished about a minute behind the leaders, but also a minute ahead of my chasers, all on my own in that awkward little not-lead pack but not-chase pack spot.

My time was 17:40, a 22 second PR! I was really pleased with that result. It earned me 6th place overall and a little age group award medal.

After the race I hung out with my friend at the festival, picking up as many freebies and snacks as possible, and we stuck around for the evening balloon ascent where I was able to get a bunch of pictures.

All in all it was a successful race. It’s not every day you get to set a personal record and attend “the largest summertime hot air balloon and music festival in North America” (according to their website).

 

Have you participated in any special, unique races? Let me know!

Being Optimistic Before A Run

Why you should go into each run with an optimistic mindset

Ever have a run planned where you’re dreading getting out the door?

That you know is going to suck.

That your muscles will not be happy that you’re doing..

 

I thought my easy run yesterday was going to be rough.

The previous day (Tuesday) I put in 12 miles with some track intervals, and then at night played tennis for almost 2 hours. Oh, and it also hit 90 degrees and was humid. Needless to say, I was pretty beat up by the time I got to bed.

So I was not looking forward to my scheduled easy Wednesday run.

 

Finally Wednesday afternoon comes, time for the dreaded run.

I lace up the shoes and get out the door, and after a little while I start wondering where the pain I was expecting is. Where’s the stiffness? Where are the random aches all over my legs? Why are these hills so easy to climb?

I felt great. I felt fast. I finished my easy 8 miles with a quick one to close it out. As much as I wanted to keep pushing, I thought it best to still leave it as an easy day, there will be other runs to push hard, and that wasn’t the purpose of this run.

 

Maybe I just got a really good night of rest, maybe I hydrated perfectly, or maybe that late night mac and cheese dinner was just the antidote I needed to recover from the post-workout day aches.

I have no idea why I felt so good.

What I learned from this, and what I hope to remember in the future, is you never know when any given day can be your day to feel good and feel fast. I’ve definitely been guilty plenty of times of going into a run expecting the worst. Expecting my body to rebel.

But that defeated mindset is pointless.

Sure, you really might be sore, and the run really might be uncomfortable and painful. It’s totally possible your run will suck and you’ll have to tough it out to get through it.

Or

You could feel amazing and rejuvenated, and have the ultimate pick-me-up; a good run.

 

Only one way to find out.