This is the first Team to End AIDS run I’ve been on since Daylight Savings Time ended. As a result the mornings are now a little bit brighter, but the evenings are just too damn dark. Now it feels like the day has ended just as its getting started. I hate that!
Getting to Griffith Park this morning was much easier than last week. There was no marathon taking place and I didn’t have to travel all around Hollywood looking for that elusive street which would lead me to Burbank. Still, I was a little late as I turned on my TV to find that “U.S. Marshals” was on IFC (why IFC is showing a studio movie instead of an independent film like “Sling Blade” is beyond me). As a result, I couldn’t tear myself away from it until the plane crash sequence came on and Wesley Snipes ends up escaping from Tommy Lee Jones. That’s one of the best plane crash sequences I have seen in a movie, and I couldn’t pass up watching it even though “U.S. Marshals” pales in comparison to “The Fugitive.” Once the plane crashed and landed in a river where it got flooded, I was out the door and on my way to Burbank.
Once I arrived at my destination, I discovered that parking was a little harder than usual. This week marked our Team to End AIDS alumni run which reunited us with many people we trained with from previous marathons. Sandy, who I did a lot of my maintenance runs with while training for the 2012 LA Marathon, was there and it was very nice to her. Tom, who had to drop for a time during 2013 LA Marathon training but still came back to run it, was also on hand and everyone was happy to see him as well. Sooner or later, those who have run with Team to End AIDS eventually find their way back to Griffith Park, and it’s always nice to see familiar faces.
But the other big reason they were having this alumni run was to honor one of our favorite marathon coaches Scott Boliver who passed away last January. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since he passed away, and he is still deeply missed. The pain of his loss still affects us all, and that pain will not suddenly vanish because we all agree that he was taken from us far too soon. Few people I have met on this planet have been as inspiring to me as he was.
Today had us running 5 miles which is the same distance we have been running these past few weeks. The marathoners I ran with last week joined up with my group of friends which includes Jessica, Annette, Tom, Drea and a number of others whose names I should know by now. Jessica told Coach JC that we were going to walk for the first 4 minutes, but he instead interpreted what she said as this:
“You’re going to walk the first 4 miles?”
This had us all in hysterics and Tom added that we were changing our pace in a rather dramatic way. Any laugh we can get in this day and age is a good one, and it got this particular run off to a great start.
After being confined to Griffith Park last week, we got to run through the streets of Burbank this time around. Our conversations dealt with the things we hate about Los Angeles, and people kept asking me which movies that are out right now are worth seeing. The big movie of the week is “Thor: The Dark World,” but as of this writing I haven’t seen it yet. Instead, I told them to check out “About Time” which has become one of my favorite movies of the year, and this is coming from a guy who typically cannot stand romantic comedies.
Scott Boliver’s showed up for this run and it is always good to see them. I think their being here and supporting us makes them feel really good and eases the pain of their son’s passing. But more importantly, they brought with them those peanut butter and pickle covered Ritz crackers we marathon veterans have come to voraciously desire. I figured we wouldn’t be seeing those snacks for another week or two, but the Bolivers had them all ready for us to consume. I wanted to just run over to their table, pick one of those crackers and say:
“Where have you been?”
My love for this snack almost rivals Dr. Huxtable’s addiction to those hoagie sandwiches he feasted on constantly on “The Cosby Show.”
You could tell who the new runners to this training program were because they just stared at the crackers as if to say, “What are those things?” But of course, we veteran marathoners encouraged them to try at least one and assured them that they were indeed delicious. While many still see the combination of peanut butter and chocolate as a much more desirable and delectable treat, putting peanut butter and pickles is nowhere as disgusting as it may seem at first.
We didn’t get run over by any cars or bicycles thank goodness, and we all managed to arrive back at Griffith Park in one piece. Overall it felt like we were on pace although our first mile or two was a little fast (and that’s even though we walked for the first 4 minutes). Next week we will be running 6 miles and I am looking forward to the change in mileage. These last three weeks have been all about running 5 miles, and I am getting eager again for a challenge. 5 miles may seem like a lot to run for some, but for me it only makes for a really short run. Seriously, at that distance the run is over before you know it.
As we took the time to stretch out our legs, Jessica remarked how she doesn’t want all of her friends to have the same political views as she does. I agree wholeheartedly with that statement because I think we need to hear everyone out, especially those we disagree with. Speaking for myself, that’s the only way I stay informed about the world around me. But despite the political differences we may have with others, that hasn’t kept any of us from getting up really early on a cold Saturday morning to train for the LA Marathon and raising money for AIDS Project Los Angeles. We may disagree on a lot of things, but we are all in agreement that AIDS really fucking sucks, and sooner or later we will put an end to that disease for good.
I ended up rewarding myself for a good run with a Sausage McMuffin with egg and cheese, a hash brown and some orange juice at the local McDonald’s. I forgot just how much I love their breakfasts, and for a moment I had trouble deciding between the McMuffin and the McGriddle. Yes, McDonald’s is bad for you, but I felt a little rebellious today.
Kudos also to the Team to End AIDS runners who are training for the 2013 XTERRA Trail Running World Championship as they ran 12 miles today. That’s their longest run yet, and the event is coming up for them very soon. Oh, that same championship is taking place in Hawaii, so they are sure to have a fantastic time while they are there (lucky bastards).
RIP Coach Scott. We still miss you and we will never forget you, ever.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: So right now I am still at 26% towards my fundraising goal and have raised $261 to date. Raising money is going to be a bit challenging now with all that’s going on in the Philippines after that devastating typhoon, but I still hope you can donate at least $5 to my efforts as I work to raise $1,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Its tax deductible and making a donation will give you good karma and will perhaps release some endorphins. I know you’ve all heard that before, but it’s the truth.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.
Scott Boliver, a Truly Inspirational Human Being
Driving in Los Angeles While a Marathon is Taking Place
Week 4 of 2013 Los Angeles Marathon Training
Day 4 of 2012 LA Marathon Training