Marathon Update: Week 10

Sorry for the delay this week, it’s been a busy one! I have now finished Week 10 of my marathon training–I can’t believe it. If you haven’t been following along, but want to catch up, you can see Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, and Week 9. Wow, that is a lot of weeks already completed! 🙂

As usual, Monday was a cross training day. I usually either bike or swim in addition to playing racquetball, but this week I decided that just playing racquetball would be enough. There are 6-8 graduate students who play once a week, and it’s a nice way to be social and active all at once. 🙂

Tuesday had 4 miles on the schedule. I have a trail half marathon coming up, so I figured I better head over to the trails near my house to get a little bit of practice in. I tried to keep my heart rate low during this run, so my pace was rather slow, but I felt strong and full of energy. I ended up running 4.25 miles and felt like I could have kept going.

Wednesday was an 8 mile run. I was not very excited about this because 8 miles in the middle of the week just seems like a lot! I ran around campus, which was a good choice because it was hot (90 degrees) and that gave me plenty of options for water fountains along the way. Overall, the run went much better than expected. Afterwards, Dustin and I had dinner, and made a very spontaneous decision to take a trip to California…leaving Friday! I have never made plans that quickly before, but we just bought plane tickets and decided we were doing it.

Thursday was mostly spent getting ready for our trip by renting a car, and trying to make a general plan for our trip, but of course I had to fit in my 4 mile run. It was hot and humid, but surprisingly my legs didn’t feel too tired from the 8 miles the day before. I suppose this means I am getting stronger! 🙂 Below you can see Nova chewing on a stick while I stretched in the backyard after the run.

I mostly took this picture because my watch and shoes match! 🙂

We flew out of Ohare on Friday, so I was glad that it was my scheduled rest day. We dropped Nova off with my parents, then headed to the airport rather early. Our flight arrived in LA around noon, and I couldn’t be more excited to get into Southern California. 🙂 By the time we got our rental car and the obligatory In-n-Out, it was around 3 pm, and we immediately headed to the beach. We stayed in Costa Mesa which is near both Huntington Beach and Newport Beach.

Saturday I had an 8 mile run scheduled and I was ready to do it along the boardwalk. We drove the 5 minutes to Newport Beach, and started off running north. Dustin ran a little bit with me, but mostly it was just me running to the sound of waves hitting the shore.

When do I get to move here?!
I ran 4.25 miles north, which got me to some of the beaches in Huntington Beach. I was incredibly amazed at this entire area because there were SO many active people. I went running at 7 am and there were hundreds of people cycling, running, rollerblading, surfing, playing beach volleyball, and in general just being out and about on a Saturday morning. Also, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating here, every single person I passed said hello or good morning. I thought people in the Midwest were friendly, but these people took it to a whole new level. I loved it! Such a wonderful way to start the day.

Beach volleyball
I ran the 4 miles back to Newport Beach, and met Dustin at the coffee shop that he had been hanging out in. We each got a breakfast burrito, and then swapped halves so that we could try both. They were delicious, and a perfect way to end an already perfect 8 mile run.

Cool breakfast place
 
Sunday we were in San Diego–we had driven down Saturday afternoon to see friends and family. Dustin has a good friend who moved to San Diego when he finished his PhD over two years ago, and I have a good friend who just moved there to start grad school. Also, my grandpa and uncle live there, so we had lots of people we wanted to see. We saw our friends Saturday, and were planning a family day on Sunday, but first, I had to run 17 miles. Eek! This number still scares me just writing it. I originally planned to run in Balboa Park, but after talking to some people, I realized it might be a little hillier than I had expected (and this Indiana girl is not used to hills), so I changed my plan. I instead decided to run around Mission Bay based on a route I found on MapMyRun.
The plan for the 17 mile run
I thought this would be perfect because it would be flat, cool, and beautiful. I started around 7 am–ready to do this! The first mistake I made was missing that little island shown there which contains about 4 miles of the run. I saw the island, but there was no sidewalk or trail, and there were tons of cars/trucks, so I decided that I didn’t really want to subject myself to that. I figured I’d find somewhere to make the miles up.
The island from my spot along the trail
Around the south part of the route, I kept getting lost and having to stop and check the map on my phone. It wasn’t too big of a deal, but it was stressing me out which doesn’t help when you are trying to do your longest run ever. I did see some beautiful sights though–here is a picture from the bridge to Mission Beach.
I could have sat here for hours
I went farther south than the original route suggested, to try to make up some of the miles I missed from skipping the island. Dustin was again waiting for me at a coffee shop, with some food and water, so I was ready to get to him. I ended up about at mile 10 when I got to him, and happily devoured part of a chocolate croissant and a whole glass of water. I decided to run north up the coast for more mileage, before I went back around the bay to the original starting point. However, after about a mile and a half, I realized that this part of the coast line wasn’t flat anymore, and I wasn’t ready for the hills of La Jolla after 11 miles of running. It was gorgeous, but I turned around and head back to the original route.
You can see I’m a bit above the beach. After this, the trail just kept going up and up
Around Mile 12, I started to realize that I was rather warm, thirsty, and feeling the effect of being in the sun for the past 2+ hours. I took off my shirt to try to cool down, which I think helped, but I still stopped at every single water fountain I saw to try to quench my thirst. In retrospect, I probably should have planned a route with at least some shade.
The beach on the bay
When I got to mile 15, I was ready to be done. I was still running along, but wasn’t feeling very good. When I got back to the agreed upon ending point just after mile 16, I decided to run until 3 hours, and then quit. I ended up with 16.36 miles, a little short of 17, but I knew I wasn’t doing myself any favors staying out in the sun any longer.
Actual route that I ended up running
Once I was in the car cooling down (Dustin brought me a smoothie which was the most delicious thing ever), I realized my face and my shoulders were a little pink. Uh oh, probably should have worn sunscreen. 😮 Luckily, it wasn’t too bad, but a good reminder to always wear sunscreen on your runs.
Overall, this was a good week, especially considering that two of the runs were during vacation. It was the first time I’ve ever had more than 40 miles in a week; I ended up with 40.9 miles. Woo, improvement! 🙂 Bring on Week 11!
 
Do you ever cut your runs short?
Do you like running on vacation?
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