Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Long Beach Walking Club Part 2 and Palos Verdes Marathon Course 3

I walked with the Long Beach Walking Club at Signal Hill again last Saturday morning. This time I wasn’t as apprehensive about being able to keep up with the group since I already knew what their pace was like. In fact the pace last Saturday felt meandering compared to a couple of weeks back. I guess my companions were taking it easy on me. When the planned six miles was over, I continued on my own from the base of Hill Street. Instead of walking up the hill like I did two weeks ago, I ran up (well, very slowly), and instead of walking after I reached the apex, I continued running down 22nd Street, made a right at the base of Stanley St. and ran up it. I followed the same extra miles I did before, running down Skyline Drive then up again and continuing to run until I reached the finishing point. All in all, the running part of the whole workout tallied just 2 ½ miles but it felt more satisfying than the other 6 ½ miles that I walked. The breakdown was like this: 6 miles walking + 2.5 miles running, + ½ mile cool down walk = 9 total miles. Not bad for a weak ankled non-runner who dabbles occasionally at running, and doing steep hills at that!
                Ok, so I was able to do 9 miles this time compared to 8.5 miles last time. That leaves me 4.1 more miles to finish a half marathon. But how did the ankles feel afterward? Well, very sore. On Sunday I received an email from AREC (A Running Experience Club) telling the members about a discount code for five dollars off for the Palos Verdes Marathon and Half Marathon. I checked out the website and found out that they are changing the course this year. It is now going to start and finish at Donald Trump’s Terranea Resort. I’ve run the original course in the 80’s and the second course several times in the 90’s and 2000’s, so I became curious about this third course change. The marathon will now be a double loop around Palos Verdes Peninsula, with supposedly lesser hills. I’m ambivalent about this because what makes the PV Marathon interesting and challenging is it’s hills. Having been able to walk + run 9 miles in Signal Hill the previous day, I started to think that I may be able to do a half marathon in Palos Verdes.
                The next day, my ankles felt somewhat ok when I woke up earlier than usual. I decided I would go for another walk but on a flat terrain this time to see how long I would last. I went around the Bixby Knolls and Virginia Country Club area hoping to hold onto a 15 minutes per mile pace. The first mile was 16 minutes and several miles after that was locked in at 15 minutes each. I would occasionally swing my arms and by doing that, I seemed to be able to knock off a few seconds per mile. In recent months, I was able to walk for 2 ½ hours on the treadmill and on one of those walks, half was done on the treadmill and half on the road. I figured that would be my goal last Monday. So around I went until I reached my goal time in which the last 15 minutes I was swinging my arms. That enabled me to do the last mile in about 14:20. So I was able to total 10 miles that day, a distance that I couldn’t run anymore. About 45 minutes more or so would enable me to finish a half marathon. But would my ankles be able to tolerate that much more time? They were already hurting somewhat badly during and after those 10 miles. I’ll find out soon enough if I decide to sign up for the Palos Verdes Marathon which is on May 14th, if only to check out the new course and also see what the Terranea Resort is all about. That’s probably the closest I’ll get to a Trump property.

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