The Long Beach Marathon is 6 weeks away. This means I’m two-thirds of the way through my second round of marathon training. So far, I’ve been doing okay. I haven’t stuck to my training plan 100%. Who does? I occasionally skip a recovery run or easy 30 minute workout in the middle of the week. For my first few track sessions, I ran similar mileage on the road instead of heading to the track. I’m running everything faster. Not sure if that’s just because I’m improving or because I didn’t donate blood in the middle of training. Probably a little of both, but more the latter.
I wavered on running a fall marathon because I knew I’d be doing most of my long runs alone. For the LA Marathon in March, I ran all 16+ mile long runs (and one 10 miler) with the Students Run LA team at the high school in my neighborhood. I did my longest run with another SRLA team in the Valley. I really enjoyed training with SRLA, it’s one of the reasons I want to run the LA Marathon again. For those long runs, I didn’t need to do much prep work aside from fill my water bottles and bring my gels/chomps. I could have left those behind as parent volunteers staffed aid stations along the course, but I wanted to get used to taking gels and didn’t want to use up the students’ food/drinks. The coaches planned out routes that were both challenging and similar enough to the marathon course (or on the course) to get us well prepared. They also had tips on how to strategically run the race.
I also didn’t know if it’d be a hot summer or would be mild like last summer. Luckily, it’s been the latter and I’ve been blessed with cloudy skies for most of my long runs. This weekend was probably the hottest of the summer. I woke up at 5 to avoid the heat, but couldn’t avoid the sunshine once the sun rose. By the time I finished three hours later, I was a sweaty, salty mess. If this heat continues through September, I’ll have more pre-sunrise wake-up calls.
Yesterday’s long run was my second 18 miler. I ran the first 5 miles with Sean before our routes diverged. He ran 11 miles, a personal distance record! I continued on through Westwood, Brentwood and Santa Monica before heading back toward Palms. I ran almost the same route as last week at a similar pace (9:41 vs 9:44), but with more water stops. Long Beach is much less hilly than my long run routes, so I’m hoping the extra hill training will help me out on race day. In the winter, I was very sore after my 18 mile long run even with an ice bath. This time around, I don’t need much else than a massage with The Stick. Later in the day I was sleepy (even with a nap), but I still was able to dance a bit at my uncle’s party.
One thing that hasn’t changed from training in winter to summer is that I’ve still got a monster appetite after running for a few hours and burning nearly 2,000 calories. Like Winnie the Pooh, my appetite improves with some exercise. I thought it would be fun to document what I ate on a long run day:
Pre-run breakfast was the usual, peanut butter and banana sandwich. I dropped this on the floor while trying to get a decent photo. (Reason #1 why I’m not a food blogger.)
I had the Chomps while running (miles 5, 10 and 16) along with Gatorade and lots of water. As soon as I returned, I cooled off with my favorite drink after a long or tough run, chocolate milk.
We had brunch at S&W Country Café in Culver City. Their pancakes are delicious. I ate all of the bacon, avocado and jack cheese omelette but only one of the pancakes.
Post-nap and driving to Ontario snacks (shared with Sean).
Typical Mexican party food at my tío Pancho’s Mexican-themed 50th birthday party: birria (beef in a spicy broth) with the usual garnishes and sides. I cleaned my plate.
The tables were decorated with small buckets filled with Mexican candy. I had some Mazapan de la Rosa. I used to love these as a kid, but found it way too sweet now. I also sampled a Bocadín, a wafer covered in chocolate (a Mexican Kit-Kat?).
With all the dancing at the party, I had to stay hydrated. I had a Corona and munched on tortilla chips. Later, I had a piece of vanilla cake and a glass of wine. I forgot to take photos.
This photographing your food thing isn’t that fun. (Reason #2 why I’m not a food blogger.) I don’t understand how some bloggers do this every single day.