Twenty-two through the Westside

Yesterday morning, I woke up, made some coffee, ate peanut butter toast with bananas and then proceeded to run 22 miles (longest training run I’ve ever done).

I missed some stuff there. I procrastinated for 90 minutes by watching Saturday Night Live, catching up on Words With Friends games, and hoping a sunny morning would suddenly become overcast. It didn’t.

Beachside running

I eventually got going a little after 9 and ran up in to Beverly Hills and through the final 8 miles of the LA Marathon course. About two hours later, I was at the beach admiring the views of the Pacific Ocean from Palisades Park.

I’ve run this route half a dozen times in previous marathon training cycles. I like it because it helps familiarized myself with the end of the marathon route, but it’s also challenging. The final 4-5 miles are on San Vicente Blvd through Brentwood and in to Santa Monica. It’s one of the best places to run in LA thanks to the tree-lined streets, a soft surface on the grassy median, water fountains, few stoplights and traffic, and plenty of other runner, walkers and cyclists. It’s also on a nice decline, which is less fun if you’re doing an out-and-back.

Quick break @ Palisades Park in Santa Monica

At Palisades Park, I stopped for a few minutes to refill my water bottles and take some photos. I’ve never taken pictures during a training run (or race) before. I hate carrying unnecessary items while I run. For a 22 mile run, I don’t feel comfortable without a phone. Now that I have a decent camera on my phone, that meant some pictures.

The second half of my run took me back the same way I came. On tired legs all the hills felt tougher and I felt like walking some. I stopped a couple of times, but started running after a few steps. I need to practice going up hill on tired legs considering there are some hills at miles 18 and 20 on the course. I finished off the last mile with some strides (about a couple blocks each). That helped me have my final mile be the fastest at 9 minutes.

I finished in 3:33:21, which puts me at a decent pace for my long runs.

As far as recovery, I felt pretty good and today I hardly felt sore. In the past when I’ve run 20+ miles, it hurt to sit the following day and my legs felt stiff. I didn’t have any of that. I’m going to credit the last ~9 weeks of strength training for the good recovery.

Post long run tan

One thing the run did leave me with was with a goofy tan line. At least it’s cool enough to wear tights with skirts these days.


One other thing about this week in marathon training. My Wednesday tempo run called for a 1.5 mile warm-up, 2 miles at 8 minute pace, and a 1.5 mile cool down. I was bit intimidated by this as 8:0X miles are quite difficult for me.

I did the workout on the track at UCLA. The tempo miles definitely felt challenging, but not insanely difficult. I think I nailed it.


9 thoughts on “Twenty-two through the Westside

  1. Someone’s getting stronger and faster. I love watching people evolve as runners. Great job!

    I’m jealous of where you get to run. Due to the homeless situation here, we have no water fountains or anything on the beach. I have to carry water for even the shortest of runs in the summer and there are no trees or shade. 😦

  2. Looks like your training is on point! Sunday was the perfect running day. Nice and sunny but not too hot. I run San Vicente on all of my long runs. The way out is so much better than the slight incline back but I love that route.

  3. Lisa Raigosa says:

    Cindy! That is awesome! You should feel amazing and so proud of yourself. Your time for the 22 miles is REALLY impressive. You go, Girl!!!

  4. Great job on the 22 miles!!! As you know I “chickened” out and did not run my 20 miles.

    I should know this but I don’t since it is confusing but a tempo is the same as a speed workout?

  5. Great job Cindy! You do have a great view! Jealous of that, for sure!

    As far as your question, Zenaida, technically, a tempo run is speed work, in the sense that it is faster than a regular-paced run. But it’s not “speed work” because it’s only a marathon paced effort. For it to be true speed work, it would besub- 1 mile, 3k or even possibly 5k paced.

    Cindy’s running awesome and if you ever have any training questions, as she can attest, you can email me.

  6. Had you run more than 20 miles on a training run before? I used to think anything more than 20 wasn’t necessary, but I’ve recently spoken to runners who have done 22- and 23-mile long runs to prep for their marathons.

    During my marathon last December, knee pain hit at mile 21 … It was totally unexpected, as I had not experienced any knee discomfort during my marathon training. So for my next marathon I’ll put in at least two runs over 20 miles, so my joints get used to spending that much time on the road.

    Are you doing anything else new with this training cycle? I’d love to compare notes 🙂

  7. Yeah, for both of my previous marathon cycles I did at least one 20-miler and one 21 miler. For Long Beach last fall, I ran a miserable 21.5. I’ve got a draft of a post on the differences between this cycle and the previous two for note comparison purposes.

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