Los Angeles Marathon Training Part 3
Week 11 of Training
My first run of the week was in Downtown LA. This was my first time running downtown. Watching all the people and city lights made it less painful to run at a 8-9 mile pace. I could feel my lungs and stomach burning. The hard work has to show up somewhere!
We finished 5 miles with an average pace of 8:57.
My second run of the week was along the beach at night. It was amazing! Just me, the fresh air and water. I was in a zone. It felt like heaven. I stayed at a steady pace of 10:30 for 7 miles.
On my rest day I went to Nike Run Crew Night. It was great seeing all the different run clubs from Los Angeles. One of the Nike coaches, Coach Blue, gave us suggestions on running the LA marathon. They also had an Olympian speak on what to do to become better as an athlete. One thing she said to me that really stood out was “Surround yourself with those who you look up too”.
My long run that weekend was intense. We started the run on a hiking trail and it rained the day before, so the ground was muddy. The view overlooking the city was beautiful though. After finally getting off the slippery trail, I started warming up. The first 4 miles was difficult but once I got to my 5th mile, I felt amazing.
I did my best to run at a steady pace. I wanted to stay at 10:30 during my long runs but with so many inclines my pace dropped. Nonetheless, I finished 16 miles in 3 hours and 10 minutes.
I rested Sunday and Monday to ensure that I wouldn't over do it.
Week 12 of Training
I always love my first run of the training week. It is usually after resting for two days so I still have enough muscle memory from my long run. I did my best to keep my speed up and finished 4.60 miles with a pace of 9:35.
Increasing my speed as a long distance runner has been a tough journey. I’ve always enjoyed running at a nice pace and taking in the scene (“Slow and Sexy pace”). After committing myself to improving my running skills and wanting to beat my previous marathon time, I have picked up the speed.
Half of it came naturally, the other half came by me pushing myself. I will repeat to myself “Just Keep Going, You Got This”.
When I run fast my stomach and lungs burn. It's not a comfortable feeling but the adrenalin rush helps masks the pain.
My legs don’t hurt until I run fast uphill. Running uphill is tough! It takes everything out of you to do that but when you finally level out, you feel great.
My long run for that weekend was 13.1 miles (Half Marathon). I ran on one of my favorite routes, Venice to Malibu and back. Always a great route!
Week 13 of Training
My first run of the week was on Valentine's Day. I did really well on my 3 mile run. Average pace of 8:45.
My second run of the week wasn’t successful. The plan was to run with BlackListLA for the first 8 miles of the LA Marathon course, from Chinatown to Hollywood.
I was so excited for the run. My first mile was great. After the second mile, I tripped and felt a sharp pain in my left foot. I thought it was a bad cramp that I could shake off and it wasn’t. I knew I couldn't run for 7 more miles. I had to limp back and call a Lyft to come pick me up to take me to my car. The pain was awful! My boyfriend helped me with icing my foot to alleviate the swelling and inflammation.
The next day I went to urgent care because I wasn’t sure if it was a strain, sprain or fracture. I prayed so hard that it wasn’t a fracture because that would put me out for 6 weeks or more.
The results came back with NO fracture. I was relieved but also still in pain and sad that I strained the foot. After seeing my PT she said I strained the ligament between the 3rd and 4th toe. This strain came from overuse and tripping while running.
She taped my foot to help alleviate pressure from the toes and to reduce swelling. The general physician and my physical therapist (PT) both advised that I rest until it is healed.
Every runner hates hearing this before a big race but I knew I couldn't chance it.
My PT told me to focus on strength training and cross training on the bike in the meantime.
I was having a hard time coping with my second injury during marathon training. Running is my way of escaping. Each time I go on a run, it feels like an adventure. There is nothing like it! Being told that I can’t do what I love was hurtful.
Instead of starting my week off by running, I had to go to the gym. I have never been a fan of the gym. I always feel claustrophobic and I don’t enjoy working out inside.
I went to try out a few gyms to see how I would like them. I started off at LA Fitness. The first day I did the 8 miles on the bike, 3 miles on the elliptical and ab work. I made the workout more challenging by increasing the resistance.
My second day at the gym I tried a spin class for the first time. I really enjoyed it! It was much harder than I thought it would be. It was a good substitute for running. I loved that I got 13 miles in too!
The next day I went to yoga which was much needed. We did meditation and light stretching. It helped me keep my mind off of training and recovery.
My last workout of the training week was great. My foot felt much better but to be safe I did 12 miles on the elliptical, 9 miles on the bike and 15 laps in the swimming pool. The swimming pool workout was so hard but felt really good.
I have begun to like cross training. It's nice to get outside of your typical routine and switch it up.
I started my week off at the gym doing cardio on the elliptical and the bike. My foot was still healing and I didn’t to risk re injury by running again. To make sure I was staying on track, I chose the harder levels with inclines. I did 4.5 miles on the elliptical and 7 miles on the bike.
For my midweek training I did the same on Wednesday and then increased my mileage on the bike.
On the weekend I went to the gym to cycle and weight train. I wanted to do a long run but decided it would be best to stay off of my feet and knees.
My running friend Bianca came to join me. We had a great time!
Week 16 & 17
I spent more time in the gym focusing on keeping my endurance up while I let my foot heal. I did most of my work during the week on the elliptical and the bike. Even though I prefer outdoors, it was nice to give my knees and feet a break.
After three weeks of not running, I went for a 3 mile run and I had no pain. I was so happy!
I did more training on the elliptical and treadmill up until my long run on Saturday.
My last long run of training was a success! I was so grateful to be back at it.
I have one more week before the marathon and I’m excited to run 26.2 miles again. I have always dreamed of running in the Los Angeles Marathon and now I can make my dream a reality!
Follow me on Instagram Stories @Christal_Lauren and SnapChat @Bravebird24 for live updates of the Los Angeles Marathon on March 19th.