This summer, my best time to run is early morning along the beach. No complaints there. I spent most of July exploring the South Bay from Palos Verdes, through the beach cities of Redondo, Hermosa, and Manhattan, and as far north as El Segundo.
After running a marathon at the end of May, I spent June in recovery mode building back my weekly mileage. In July, I put together a string of consistent weeks and feel like I’m back to normal. I started the month with a 5K and surprised myself with a new PR. For the rest of the month I stayed consistent with five runs and a long run each week.
The Strand bike path is flat and fast. I found that I could work on my running form without worrying about traffic or the irregularities I encounter on trail runs. It’s also ten to twenty degrees cooler than the rest of LA, a definite advantage for summer training.
The bike path ends at RAT beach and the Palos Verdes peninsula. From the top of the bluffs you can see all the way north to Malibu and most days are just right for running.
This summer has been a nice break from dedicated training. Three half marathons and then a marathon took up almost an entire year. Now I’m ready to get back to setting goals and racing. I’ll be starting with a trail 10K next month and targeting the Manhattan Beach 10K in early October as a goal race.
I celebrated 4th of July by running the Village Runner 5K in Redondo Beach, CA. Since I ran a marathon five weeks earlier I did not train for the race at all. I spent most of the month recovering and getting back into running.
The course is a mostly flat out-and-back that follows the Redondo Esplanade. Like most summer mornings in LA the weather was cool and overcast, perfect for running. With no training or goal time, I focused on enjoying the morning with friends and family.
I rediscovered running in 2010 and since then I wanted to race with my wife and kid(s). The stars aligned today as Alex and Ruby lined up with me at the start. Alex is joining his high school cross-country team this fall, and Ruby has overcome a foot injury, so it was awesome watching them cross the finish line running strong.
As for me, I achieved one of my running goals for 2016 and PR’ed by eight seconds. It must have been my months of marathon training coupled with absolutely no expectations that helped me set a new record. I ran at what felt like a fast tempo pace and tried to maintain a steady effort for the entire distance. When I saw my finish time I was filled with a renewed sense of confidence and realized that a sub-twenty minute 5K is possible. The race also broke me out of my post-marathon funk and I’m excited to try to knock thirty seconds off of my time.
Looking a little closer at my splits, it is clear that my conditioning was not ideal for a 5K. I slowed by ten seconds each mile. About two and a half miles in I started suggesting to myself that it would be nice to stop and walk. But with such a short distance to the finish line I held on and dug in. My positive splits are a minor complaint and overall it was a great day for running.