Last Farthest Run on MLK Before Surf City Marathon
Today was the last longest run day before the Surf City Marathon. I got up early this morning to simulate the process of getting ready for the race, which is less than 2 weeks away. By the time I started my run, it was 6:45 am. It was close enough. 51 Fahrenheit. No wind. 70% humidity. It was perfect.
The sunrise glow was quite something as I was getting ready for the run. It was not too cold but was definitely on the chilly side, although I knew I would get warmed up eventually once I started running.
My aim was to run more than 20 miles, and I knew I would finish somewhere in between 21 and 22 miles. And my strategy was as same as it was for the last three weeks.
Run at my comfortable pace. Do not get myself exhausted by running faster than my comfortable pace till I have only the last mile or so left to finish.
All I had to do was stick to the plan.
According to my training schedule, I was supposed to have my last longest run last Saturday, but I couldn’t get up early and ended up running later in the morning, which was a real bad idea due to the heat. Although the temperature was in low 60s, it was sunny with no clouds. Not even running for 5 miles, I got dehydrated and exhausted, so I cooled myself for a bit till I was able to resume my run back to my car.
So, I really wanted to get it right this time by going to bed fairly early and getting up early.
I purposely mapped my route in and out of Marina del Rey before getting onto the usual Venice Beach bike path, so I was able to enjoy the sunrise over Playa del Rey and the Venice Channel.
Soon I reached the south end point of the bike path via Washington Blvd. and looked at my Garmin watch.
And it would be about somewhere between 6 and 7 miles from there to the north end of the bike path in Will Rogers State Beach, so I knew I would have more than 21 miles when I return to my car.
The Santa Monica Pier that I felt unreachable suddenly appeared in front of me. It meant that I was about half way to the north end of the bike path. I kept pushing through.
To my surprise, neither Venice Beach nor Santa Monica was crowded. Although it might’ve been the fact that I was running quite early and that it was a MLK Jr. holiday but not everyone got today off, it was quite nice to see more runners than tourists on the path. And as usual, the portion of the bike path in Will Rogers state park was nearly empty.
I finished my run by returning directly to my car, which was parked on Venice Blvd. I had considered running to the Venice Beach Pier and back before finishing, but overall, it was a 21.33 mile run, and as much as I could’ve pushed myself for a bit more, I knew that it was good enough.
Instead, I brought my mat for stretching and my massage roller back to the beach. I really believe that I have made improvements by fully adapting some of the stretching techniques and massaging my stiff legs and back, as I pointed out here.
Overall, it was a good run. However, my average pace was still 7:35 min/mi, meaning I still need to run a tad bit faster to qualify Boston Marathon. Once again, my average stride length suffered as the distance got longer although I was able to keep my cadence at 190 spm.
I will be focusing on tapering for the next less than 2 weeks. Since the rule of thumb is to reduce the total weekly volume by 20 to 25%, so I will be running a whole lot less in the following weeks, including about 17 miles for the next weekend.
If I get it right, I could see a 3% improvement in performance. So, I definitely want to see that happening.
How did your weekend long run go? Better than expected? Or needs more improvement? Have you done enough stretching before and after your run?
Thanks for reading.