So the week leading up to this week of Los Angeles Marathon training was a bear to say the least. After running in the rain last Saturday, I ended up getting a cold. This was incredibly frustrating as I am usually great at keeping myself from getting sick, but this time the weather did me in and I ended up spending an obscene amount of money on facial tissue (I should start investing in it). My nose remained runny for most of the week, and the amount of snot that came out of it was thick and yucky. Now that might be a little too much information for you all, but this is the first cold I’ve had in the longest time and I forgot what it felt like to have one.
As a result, I didn’t do my two maintenance runs that we all need to do during the week as I needed to rest and take a lot of cold medicine (Alka Seltzer proved to be the cheapest while I was shopping). Also, I was at the Seventy7 Lounge in Culver City for a friend’s birthday party the other night, and I couldn’t resist having a cocktail even when it cost a ridiculous $14 bucks. It’s in our best interest to not drink any alcohol before a run, but when I looked at the menu and saw that the Scarlett Johansson cocktail contained Citadelle gin, Lucid absinthe, strawberry, lemon and rose Champagne, I found it very difficult to pass up. Fortunately I had only one cocktail, so I didn’t mess myself up too much.
I woke up a lot earlier than usual on this morning which really pisses me off, but at the same time it allowed me to get to Griffith Park earlier than usual, so there is some benefit to getting a lack of sleep (darn it). It wasn’t raining on this day, but man was it cold! Frost had formed on the grass, and everyone was shivering in their running gear, eager to start their run sooner than later. For once I remembered to bring my gloves with me, something I kept promising myself to do.
Whenever I find myself shivering in the cold like this, I am quickly reminded of the Thanksgiving I spent in Denver, Colorado over a decade ago. We decided to go skiing one morning, and the temperature must have been well below zero because my hands got so numb to where it felt like I couldn’t move them. Thank goodness I found some warming packets to put inside my gloves because I was really freaking out over it. I have experienced a colder day than that since.
Once I thought about that cold Denver, Colorado morning, I started to feel a lot warmer while standing alongside my fellow Team to End AIDS runners in Griffith Park. Plus we’re in Los Angeles which is essentially a desert, and the coldest days there don’t compare to any on the east coast.
Coach Ashley was back in town, and her support and enthusiasm for all that we do appears to be infinite. At some point, she may end up competing with Gene in regards to how much positive energy a person can bottle up.
Coach JC reminded us that it was in our best interest not to break any personal records during training, and that was good advice because we all tend to get in a habit of running faster than our pace per mile allows. He also said that if we were out of town and had to use a treadmill (which he stated is really not the best option) to do our training run, we should put the elevation level at 1 or 2 so that we have some resistance to work with. I wish I had known that earlier, but it’s good to know now because there is another treadmill run coming up in the near future for me.
So this week we had a recovery run of 5 miles, and it was the same exact route we ran our previous 5 mile run on through Burbank and right up to Walt Disney Studios. Once we made our first turn onto the bridge that took us over the 134 freeway, the sun started to come out and I couldn’t wait for its rays to hit me and warm me up. Once they did, it was a wonderful feeling I have to tell you. It also was a reminder of how I forgot to bring my sunglasses with me (I’ve got to remember them on marathon day).
But regardless of the fact that this run was only 5 miles long, it ended up feeling a little longer than usual. I guess that had to do with how cold it was because we were wearing a lot more layers than usual. Perhaps the weight of our clothes dragged us down a little. Furthermore, I was not the only one getting over a cold as several others were still fighting whatever sickness took them over after running in the rain the week before.
There’s not too much to say about this run other than it had us visiting familiar sites, avoiding the manure that horses continue to leave on the street, and the Boliver family was out there again giving us all the peanut butter and pickle covered Ritz crackers we could possibly eat. But while a run like this is a piece of cake for us at this point, it felt like we could have finished it sooner.
Still, we did have some fun conversations while our feet were pounding the streets of Burbank. One big topic of discussion was “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” which just came out in theaters, and I think it is even better than the previous film “An Unexpected Journey.” This is not to say that the first “Hobbit” movie was bad, but it didn’t have the same magic as “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy did. This one, however, does have it, and it also has Benedict Cumberbatch who has one of the sexiest voices on the planet right now.
Other than that, Steve asked me for advice on how to get those green water bottles that are attached to our belts off so we can take a drink. The water belts do a great job of keeping those bottles on securely, but they can also imprison them to where you have to take that belt off to even take a drink. I advised Steve to give the bottles a little squeeze in order to release them, and that did the trick.
Another runner asked me what I thought about the Golden Globe nominations, and to be honest I haven’t paid much attention to them. From what I have heard, the Golden Globes actually got it right this year and actually nominated movies and TV shows that actually deserve recognition. I was excited to hear that “Gravity” was nominated for Best Picture, but I was also miffed that “Fruitvale Station” was overlooked. Please don’t tell me that film and Michael B. Jordan’s terrific performance are going to get ignored at Oscar time.
When we made it back to that bridge and headed around the corner towards Griffith Park, a wonderfully breeze hit us that felt so incredibly refreshing. Actually, Drea said that breeze has always been there for us at this part of the run, but I don’t remember feeling it this strongly before. I can only imagine what it feels like for those Team to End AIDS runners who are bold enough to train during the summer months.
So we made it back to where we started, and we all treated those 5 miles like they were no big deal. Everyone in the “13: The Sequel” pace group took the time to stretch their legs out, and it really felt good to loosen them up. My knees didn’t argue with me for the most part this time out, but I imagine they will be airing their grievances to me in the not too distant future.
Before driving back to my apartment, I couldn’t help but stop at McDonald’s to consume yet another Sausage McMuffin with egg sandwich because, as bad as they may be for my body, they are so irresistibly delicious. Actually, I was tempted to get the value meal that had 2 of those sandwiches instead of one, but I felt like Morgan Spurlock was staring at me from a distance as if to say, “It’s bad enough that you’re in there.”
Next week we run 12 miles, and that ice bath we have been longing to avoid will start to become all the more necessary.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: Well I had a much needed boost this past week. Thanks to some wonderful family members, I have now raised $636 which puts me at 64% towards my fundraising goal of $1,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Can we reach that goal by the end of the year? Let’s find out!
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION. PLEASE HELP THOSE AFFLICTED BY THIS TERRIBLE DISEASE SO YOU CAN STICK IT TO THE MAN AT THE SAME TIME.
Here Comes the Rain Again
Week 9 of 2013 Los Angeles Marathon Training
Day 9 of 2012 LA Marathon Training
Day 9.5 of 2012 LA Marathon Training