Road to LA Marathon: May

I took the necessary time I needed for my body to rest after episodes with dairy, and once all the dairy cleared out of my system, and I started to feel physically, it was time to get back on track. Honestly, it was depressing not running and not working out at they gym. Here we go….

Week One: 5/15 –  5/22

Tuesday 5/16: Today was a difficult workout. I was using weights today while running. Today, I ran 1.71 miles to the Culver City Stairs while wearing 1.5 lb weights on each arm for a total of 3 lbs. The run was not easy, trying to naturally move my arms while running took work and work it was. My shoulders, arms, and forearms were getting a good workout. Keeping an average pace of 11:47 min/mile was not easy either. It felt like I was walking, in slow motion.

Once I got to the stairs, I put the weights on my ankles and went up the stairs. If you are unfamiliar with the Culver City Stairs they are concrete stairs, and they are not evenly spaced. They are uneven, and steep. It is 282 steps to get to the top, which has an amazing view. These stairs without weights on my ankles gives me a workout to where my legs are on fire. My legs were shaky on the way up, my balance was off at times, it looked like I was stumbling like a drunk person up the stairs, and it took everything I had to make it up to the top. It was a sweet, sweet victory when I got there. While I was headed down the stairs, my legs were very shaky, and not steady. I ran down the dirt trail with the weights on my ankles, and I must admit, that felt good.

I decided to try and run back with the weights on my ankles. I ran .16 before taking them off and putting them on my wrists. My legs were jelly. I walked, then jogged back to the car. When I was at .94 mile, I put the weights back on my ankles and finished the run. I walked up the hills, and jogged down the hills. It was a workout just to lift my leg up for a 9:25 min pace. When I returned to my car, I sat in the driver seat, reclined it all the way back, slowly took the weights off, and just sat there. I was so scared I was gonna fly away. I had work and class after which meant more walking and standing. By the time I got home, my legs were Jell-O. I went to bed and fell asleep fast.

That was the best workout I’ve had yet this year. I’ve considered that these types of workouts will be once a week…for now.

Thursday 5/18: Today’s workout was all about running for a set time. Today, with sore legs and the humidity, I ran for 22 minutes straight.

Good news is that I got in some heat/humidity training today. Also, according to my Garmin, it said that my TE (Training Effect) was 4.2, and I ran 1.96 miles at a 11:40 min pace. Not bad for high humidity and sore legs. Also, I was so glad to see that 4.2 TE because the first time I ran 2 miles nonstop I had a 5.0 TE. A 5.0 TE is not good, and it states that I overreached. So, seeing that 4.2 TE made my heart sing.

I’m wanting to get back into running shape so badly, in ways, I am getting there. But for now, baby steps.

Week Two: 5/23 – 5/31

Tuesday 5/23: Today’s plans were not gong to happen. I had to stay over time at work because someone decided to call out last minute, which left me scrambling to find coverage. I was finally off the clock almost ninety (90) minutes later, and it was a bad day overall. I decided that I would just try and go for a run.

I ran roughly two (2) miles with weights on my ankles. I decided that I would do the last quarter mile at a 9:20 min pace. I was able to hold it even with the weights. I was impressed with myself. When I looked at my Garmin for the TE number, it read 2.9 Maintaining Aerobic Fitness …….. uh….. serious? I ran roughly two (2) miles, with 3 lbs of weights strapped to my ankles, and its a 2.9 TE? I remember just a couple of weeks ago when I ran 1.50 miles nonstop it was a 5.0 TE. wow. Have I come that far in so little time??

I had decided to walk back, and do some hill repeats. It was 1.43 miles back, and the TE was 3.2 Improving Aerobic Fitness. Really? I remember just week before last when that same walk without hill repeats was a 4.6 TE. wow. I guess I have come a long way. Looks like I’m getting stronger.

It’s also good to know that I’m improving my cardio fitness and not overreaching all the time.

Thursday 5/25: Today’s training took me to Baxter Street. Baxter Street slopes ranging in 30 to 35 percent grade, its not only steep going up, its also steep going down. There are few stop signs (it alternates from intersection to intersection) at the top, so there is no moment to quickly rest and collect yourself. Some people call it a hill, I call it a small mountain, its a more accurate description. Although it is not the steepest street in Los Angeles (that award goes to Eldred Street), it is one of the steepest in Los Angeles.

I was debating if I was going to jog or walk. I decided that I would jog as long as I could, take a short walk break, then jog again. That sounded like a good plan, especially since this is my first time on Baxter Street. I had decided to walk up hill, and then jog downhill. I had to be very careful when jogging downhill, the slightest misstep and you’ll easily fall on your face. I must admit, these hills are a true workout.

When I got to the top of the last hill, an elderly gentleman in an old El Camino was giving me a thumbs up. That make my heart sing, I smiled, waved, and said “Thank you so much”.

I love to incorporate hills into my training, and it looks like I need to step up my game on Baxter Street. According to my Garmin, the TE was at 3.4 Improving Aerobic Fitness. I thought it would for sure be a 5.0 especially with how much I felt I was struggling. I guess I wasn’t struggling as much as I thought. I’m very happy to have improved my fitness without overreaching.

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Looks like instead of going out and back one time, I’ll try for two times, and see how I feel. I’m curious to know what the TE will be. I just hope it won’t be a 5.0 TE. Now, I have an overall time to start to beat on Baxter Street.

5/26 – 5/28: I’m on doctors orders to stay on bed rest. No gym workouts, no running, and I can go no further than the refrigerator. Its time to rest, and get back to it on Monday.

Monday 5/29: After being on bed rest for the weekend, I was wanting to go out on a run so badly. I decided to head back to one of my favorite run places, Echo Park, for a nice relaxing jog. Since two (2) miles is only enough to keep me in aerobic shape, I decided to jog three (3) miles today. I love to run at Echo Park, it is peaceful, beautiful, and I forget that I’m in the city.

These three (3) miles were tough. It was heating up quick, there was a lot of people smoking cigarettes and the cigarette smoke was starting to give me a major migraine. That last half mile I did struggle, but I slowed down my pace, and pushed through to finish three (3) miles of nonstop running. I also worked on my form, making sure I wasn’t slouching, and trying as best as I could to not have my arms cross my chest.

It felt good to be back to running three (3) miles with no stopping, and my Garmin said that my TE for this run is 5.0; finally! I don’t mind the 5.0, however, I don’t like getting them after every run. Hooray for today’s run. It felt so great, and I am feeling stronger after ever run.

Tuesday 5/30: After yesterday’s run I felt fantastic. I had decided that it was time for me to step outside of my comfort zone and start training to run at marathon pace. I’m aiming between 10:00 min and 11:00 min pace. 11:00 minute being the slowest. Today, I wanted to see just how far I could run at marathon pace.

I ran alright, at marathon pace. There were very little red lights so it was nonstop running at a 10:11 min pace. I ran, keeping the pace between 9:33 min and 10:25 min. I ran until I was completely out of breath, and I literally had to stop to catch it. How far did I run? 0.86 mile to be exact. I almost made it a whole mile, but that’s alright. I also noticed my stride went from 0.87 to 1.01. Bigger strides are good, and it felt comfortable. 

Now, I have a starting point, and I can go from here. Speed work Tuesday’s, welcome to the training schedule. Also, Garmin said this run is a 2.1 TE. Really? Running at that speed for almost 1 mile? Its very interesting because I felt I over exerted myself, I was huffing and puffing, well, it felt like I was. So, I maintained my aerobic fitness. Ok, time to step it up.


Today I noticed that my weekly miles have been increasing. I was very surprised and very happy to see that. The week before last, I logged in 3.4 total miles. Last week I logged 4.9 total miles. This week I logged in 5.8 total miles. I see those stats trending toward the positive.

Reflection: Not bad at all for my first month back to training for marathon. I felt like I was out of shape in May, but I proved myself wrong in that last week. I also made major changes concerning my health, for the better of course, so I can’t wait to see how those changes continue to go in my overall health. So far, for the better.

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