Sunday, June 29, 2008

Hermosa Beach Pier Orbit

Ambitious? Yes. Success? Mixed.

I start today's run more than an hour later than I would like, especially given Palos Verdes' high is forecast in the low-to-mid 80's. I make a last minute decision to redirect my run towards the Hermosa Beach Pier largely hoping that sea breezes or perhaps a touch of marine layer (which is not at all present over the peninsula this morning) would cut down the heat.

My instincts prove to good today--the beach weather is definitely comfortable. Unfortunately, the sea breeze is coming out of southwest...not a problem for the first half of my run, but headwinds will compound the fun as I climb the hill towards home.

The first 12 miles are either downhill or flat. I feel pretty good until I get closer to the Hermosa Pier. It starts to become work, but I am able to keep my pace below 10 minute miles. I decide to actually run to the end of the pier since I am trying to total at least sixteen today...and I reach the end just shy of eight.

For the return, I run off and on the bike path and around the Redondo Pier. I hate running on concrete. Pavement is better, but, unfortunately, the bike path is mostly concrete. After my previous attempts to add sand to the mix, I stay off the soft stuff so I can work on managing my pace for the full distance. Despite running against the wind, I succeed at maintaining my pace through the end of the bike path. This marks the beginning of RAT Beach and the start of a long climb towards home.

At this point, I have run twelve miles. If the next mile had been flat, I am fairly certain I could reach the equivalent of a half-marathon in exactly 2 hours. Unfortunately, I am currently just above sea-level...pretty much anywhere is up from here.

That said, I reach my half-marathon split at around 2:03.

Though I am not treating today's run as a race, I have bettered my Palos Verdes Half Marathon time by over ten minutes. It is hard to really compare times considering that the terrain has been helping me thus far. Now I face the climb up Via Del Monte. Normally, I would start a run like today's by coming down Via Del Monte, but, for some reason, I have reversed directions thinking that Via Del Monte is longer, but less steep than Palos Verdes Drive. As soon as I start up it, I realize I have made this mistake before.

I walk nearly all of the next two miles. I can feel my legs starting to cramp up, so I am extremely careful how I jog as I attempt one final push towards home.

Can I actually claim 16.73 miles as my new distance record? I did complete today's workout in under 3 hours, but I am not proud of how much I had to walk. At least I got a decent half marathon out of it. Time to rest.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

15 on Father's Day

With a few alterations to my Cheesecake Orbit, I run my longest distance run yet. Not a fast run, but one that I could at least finish without walking.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Cheesecake Orbit

Though it seems like a good idea to take a short break after running a half marathon, I really cannot afford to go any weeks between now and my attempt to complete a full without at least one run of such or even greater length. So, this morning, I have resumed my training with another 13+ mile run.

I try something different today...running most of the distance from the start of RAT Beach to the Redondo Beach Pier on the sand. I am no stranger to running on the beach, so I stick to close to the water where the Terra is firmer.

When I reach the pier, I decide to stop and take photos of the pier and the soon-to-close Tony's Fish Market. I forget to pause my watch many of the times that I stop to take my pace average is no longer meaningful and there are now gaps in my GPS data. Since I am not targeting any particular pace with today's workout, I do not worry too much about it.

Cheesecake Factory is today's halfway point simply because it stands roughly 7 miles from where I started...and I am hoping that this run will total 14 miles. Of course, I will probably fall a bit short of that distance since I do not plan to retrace my steps on the beach.

I turn uphill and run back by the pier on Catalina Ave. Though the hill is not all that steep, I am having surprising difficulty regaining my stride here. The bike path and sidewalk is a little harsh on the feet, but I cannot really run on the street due to all of the parked cars.

I turn on to the Esplanade so I can overlook the beach below. Parked cars continue to keep me off the street (I hate running on sidewalks). Palos Verdes still seems far away. I think the heat is starting to get to me because it is flat, but I cannot seem to maintain a pace below ten minute miles.