LET THE “SEASON” BEGIN…

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“We don’t need no education.”

As we sit here at the end of August, it’s clear that the “season” is upon us.

Now that season can mean different things to different people.

For my nieces, it’s means that “school season” is underway. And boy are they thrilled to be back in the classroom (cue the sarcasm). My oldest niece told me how exactly much she is digging working on a paper this weekend for her literature class. FYI, it’s not a lot.

Now, for the tens of millions of football fans around the country, college football season gets underway this week (technically it started on Friday with the game between Cal and Hawaii in Australia). And the NFL kicks off a week later. My Badgers are facing a ridiculously tough schedule this season, while my Seminoles are expected to compete for the ACC title and a spot in the playoffs.

As for my Packers (I can say “my” because I do own a share of the team)… they are one of the odds on favorites to represent in Super Bowl LI (let’s start calling it “Super Bowl Lithium”).

And as for Elmer Fudd… well he is forever torn between duck season and rabbit season.

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“Duck Season. Rabbit season.”

So what does this whole “season” nonsense have to do with running?  Patience grasshopper.

This upcoming week marks the beginning of another season for me… my fall race season. After a fairly race free summer (just the Shoreline 10K in July) I haven’t brought home any excessive bling since early May.

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“Yeah, but it’s a dry heat.”

Granted I haven’t exactly been sitting on my laurels (ouch). I’ve been continuing my thrice weekly running workouts, but with fewer miles and a more mellow pace as I dealt with summer heat and humidity. Oof, it can get hot out there.

But in the last four weeks, I’ve been ramping things up in preparation (my pre-season if you will) for the upcoming season. On Saturday I did a final prep run, logging a dozen sweat-filled miles.

This upcoming Saturday I ease into the season with the Lexus LaceUp Irvine 10K, which will also serve as my taper run for the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half Marathon which is the week after.

All in all I’ve got eight races current scheduled between now and Ho-Ho Day.

  1. Lexus LaceUp Irvine 10K- 9/3/16
  2. REVEL Big Cottonwood- 9/10/16
  3. Lexus LaceUp Ventura Half – 10/22/16
  4. REVEL Canyon City- 11/12/16
  5. Lexus LaceUp Palos Verdes 10K- 11/19/16
  6. Atlanta Half Marathon- 11/24/16
  7. Lexus LaceUp Riverside Half- 12/4/16
  8. Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run (10K)- 12/10/16

Of course, there is some wiggle room built in here and I might drop a race or swap one out.

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Bring on the bling.

And in October, I will also start training with Team To End AIDS in preparation for the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon (my 8th go round on that race).

 

As for my race goals/expectations for this fall, the two REVEL races give me a pair of chances to push my pace (as I continue to chase the elusive 2-hour half marathon barrier). Other than that, I’m just looking to have fun and run solid races.

Oh, and if my fall race plans don’t change, the Lexus LaceUp Riverside Half Marathon in December will be my “golden” (50th) half marathon. Sweet.

 

Looking forward to a fun and bling-filled fall.

Go Badgers. Go ‘Noles. Go Packers… and Run on!

How many races do you have planned for the fall? Share your schedule.

NEW SHOES! NEW SHOES!

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Ooh, what’s inside?

The celebratory shout to the heavens of “NEW SHOES” is uttered far more often by the ladies as opposed to the gents. And having seen the closets of several girlfriends throughout my adult life, it has shown me that you ladies do indeed love you some shoes… a whole lot of ’em. One might even go so far as to say an “excessive” amount of shoes.

I know I’m sailing into dangerous waters here.

As for me, while I do enjoy a nice pair of shoes, I would happily live my entire life in a pair of comfy sneakers or canvas shoes. They really aren’t a big deal to me at all.

With one notable exception: my running shoes.

Holy Shnikes! Do I obsess over running shoes. Read the rest of this entry

FALL FUN PART 2: REVEL RACE SERIES

10574212_1416925418529812_3006742470463802857_nLast week, in the midst of the sweltering summer sun, I started looking ahead to my fall race schedule.

I’m back this week to “revel” about another very cool race series: The REVEL Race Series.

NOTE: I’ve been a REVEL Race Series ambassador since 2014 and have had an absolute blast.

The REVEL race series features a four-pack of races each year (from April to November):

  • REVEL Big Cottonwood (UT)- September 10, 2016
  • REVEL Canyon City (CA)- November 12, 2016
  • REVEL Mt. Charleston (NV)- April 29, 2017
  • REVEL Rockies (CO)- June 11, 2017

The first thing you should know about these races is they are downhill and FAST. I mean really fast. Damn fast. If you’re gunning for a PR or Boston qualifier (all courses are USATF certified), look no further. Read the rest of this entry

FALL FUN (PART 1): LEXUS LACE-UP SERIES

11150477_476062995889424_5336102178984688662_nIt’s about a bajillion degrees outside this week in Los Angeles (and apparently other parts of the country as well). I did a four mile run this morning and it felt like I was slogging through a sauna.

That’s the joy of summer running.

But as “liquid awesome” (the happy term I use for sweat) was erupting from every pore imaginable during my run, I started thinking ahead to cooler weather and fall races. They will be here before you know it.

So here’s a fun SoCal race series to consider as you start filling up your autumn run calendar: Lexus LaceUp.

Note: I was an ambassador to the Lexus LaceUp Series in 2015 and am happy to be lacing ’em up again with them this year. Read the rest of this entry

…CLOSE CALL!

keep-calm-and-be-safe-392This Saturday morning at mile 6 of an 8-mile training run I had one of those moments that every distance runner who pounds the pavement on local streets fears.

An SUV under the control of an inattentive driver turned right into my path and I honestly wasn’t sure if I could get out of the way in time.

I believed I was about to be hit by a car.

The fact that I’m writing this from my computer at home and not from a hospital bed lets you know that I indeed dodged a 3-ton bullet.

Here’s the skinny.

I was running down the bike path of Riverside Drive near Griffith Park. You have to understand this is probably the most familiar stretch of road I’ve ever run.

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The intersection (courtesy of Google Maps).

During my seven years of distance running and training with Team To End AIDS (T2), I’ve probably pounded this particular stretch of pavement at least 250 times. This is right by Mountain View Park, where during marathon training season The Bolivers are waiting to greet the T2 crew with water, snacks and support.

This is one my favorite spots to run… period. Read the rest of this entry

MT. CHARLESTON IN MOTION…

Just a quick post as I’m in the middle of a project and have been working 3 weeks straight without a day off. Oof.

Today I received my personalized video from the REVEL Mt. Charleston Half Marathon, one of the many cool perks REVEL offers its participants. It features several photos of me during the race and the video snippet as I clomp across the finish line.

Enjoy…

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Click to see the video

A cool course and a fun run. And registration just opened for next year’s REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon/Half Marathon (April 29, 2017). Check out www.runrevel.com and sign-up.

Now back to the grind… and Run on!

REVIEW: REVEL MT. CHARLESTON HALF MARATHON

1496170_972313269528101_6680791804153747866_oRACE: REVEL Mt. Charleston

DATE: May 7, 2016

DISTANCES: Marathon/Half Marathon

LOCATION: Mt. Charleston (Las Vegas)

START TIME: 6:30am

WEATHER AT START: 55 degrees (Half)

FINISHERS:

  • Half Marathon- 1158
  • Full Marathon- 610

Viva Las Vegas! Welcome to the first event of the 2016 REVEL Race Series, the inaugural running of the REVEL Mt. Charleston Marathon/Half Marathon. Read the rest of this entry

RANDOM ACT OF RACE HELPFULNESS…

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  -Aesop

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Honda Helping.

For those of you who live in SoCal, the radio waves (if you still listen to regular radio) have been swamped the last few months with Honda’s latest marketing campaign, entitled “Random Acts of Helpfulness.”

In the ads, a Honda representative speaks to a random stranger and offers to help them by paying for something they need. Examples include: airline tickets to visit family, a new garage door, college application fees, a work wardrobe and even an automatic softball pitching machine. Like I said, random. Read the rest of this entry

BRAND SPANKING NEW (RACE)…

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Yay for “new.”

I’ve been doing marathons/halfs/10Ks consistently for seven years now and during that time I’ve run several races multiple times. I’ve completed a septet of LA Marathons. This year I’ll have finished a 6-pack of Peachtree Road Races (since 2009). And last month I collected my fifth consecutive finisher’s medal from the Hollywood Half Marathon.

There is something uniquely enjoyable and comforting about running a race you’ve done before. You know the course and are most likely prepared for any race-specific idiosyncrasies. And you also can use a familiar race as a benchmark to see how you’re progressing from year to to year.

At the same time, running a race you’ve never run before presents an exciting challenge. You’re not sure what to expect as everything is utterly new to you. The course, the expo, the race support… even the T-shirt and bling… all new experiences. Very cool. Read the rest of this entry

HUSH HUSH WRITING…

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Hooray for you know what.

One of the cool things about the entertainment industry (aka Hollywood) is being able to work on what could be “high profile” projects. But one of the caveats that goes hand in hand with that coolness is keeping things “hush hush.”

Whether its signing “non-disclosure agreements” (NDAs) to be able to work on a project in the first place, or just keeping things close to the vest until the perfect time, I often spend a lot of time working on things I just can’t talk about right now.

The last few weeks I’ve been tucked away on one such project (this is of the “close to the vest” variety) which has filled the majority of my waking hours and put TTK on a bit of the back burner. Now that it’s done (finally), I’m going to be diving into another close-vester straight away. No rest for the weary, right.

So for today, just a quick running tidbit. Two weeks ago I ran the Hollywood Half Marathon and had a fun time clomping up and down the “walk of fame” and getting to say “hi” to several running friends of mine, including some Team to End AIDS (T2) teammates.  And I recently got my “free” (what a wonderful word) race photos, courtesy of the race and Buzz Feed, which I thought I’d share.

Next up on my race schedule is the inaugural running of the REVEL Mt. Charleston marathon/half marathon outside of Las Vegas on May 7th. It’s a downhill race, so I’ve been doing some hill runs on the weekends to make sure that my quads won’t want to kill me the day after the race. I plan to get a post up about the joy of “inaugural” races prior to heading off to Vegas.

Have a good week… and now back to the vest.

Run on!

LIVING THE LEGACY…

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Is that a pledge pin on your uniform?

Whenever I hear the term “legacy” I immediately think back to the classic comedy ANIMAL HOUSE where Kent “Flounder” Dorfman tells the gang at Delta house that he’s a legacy and that they’re usually asked to pledge automatically. That is unless of course the pledge in question was a closet-case.

And now I’m reciting quotes from the film rapid fire in my head.

“Toga! Toga!”

When running races, however, being a “legacy” has a much different meaning. It’s not something you’re given, but rather something you earn by running a race every year (without fail) from its inaugural year up to the present.

Races that have been run for decades, like the LA Marathon or Peachtree Road Race, have their own legacy clubs. The Peachtree’s group is called the “Original 110” (guess how many members) and the LA Marathon has around 177 legacy runners who have pounded the pavement for all 31 marathons dating back to 1986.

Each year when I run the LA Marathon, I always see a few legacy runners (they have special bibs) and I’m sure to shout out some respect. They’ve earned it. Read the rest of this entry

PUPPY RUN…

My running coach told me about the advantages of adding speed training to my running regimen. Last week, however, I got a speed workout I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

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That was the plan.

Here’s the set-up.

Lindy and I have a great rescue puppy named Sasha. She is our happy fur daughter. Well, even though she is barely two years old, Sasha is already a mom (courtesy of growing up on the streets of Compton before being rescued).

One of Sasha’s puppies, “Wasabi” (great name isn’t it), belongs to a friend of ours who is going through a rough patch. And she asked us to care for Wasabi for a few weeks. Wasabi is rather skittish right now and in need of some serious TLC.

So last Thursday morning I was outside walking Sasha and Wasabi prior to my run (so I was already decked out in my running garb). Whilst the puppies were “taking care of business” I paused to talk to one of our neighbors and their puppy. Needless to say, our collective dogs became one big tangled playful mess around our legs. After a few seconds I looked down to commence “Operation Untangle-ment.”

I saw Sasha, but when I looked at the end of Wasabi’s leash, her harness was sitting there …empty.

She had wiggled out of her harness (turns out her owner had accidentally given us one for a bigger dog) and was sitting 5 feet away… totally loose. Read the rest of this entry

LAMB TO LION…

There’s an old saying about March weather: “In like a lion, out like a lamb.”

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The lion is like: Who do I eat first?

It means that the nasty winter weather at the start of the month will be replaced with favorable spring weather when it leaves. Basically, things will go from “wild to mild.”

And having weathered many winters growing up in New Jersey and Wisconsin, I’ve witnessed this firsthand.

Of course I’ve also seen March come in like a lamb and go out like a lion… sometimes Mother Nature has a few more winter zingers to throw your way before spring finally takes hold.

Maybe we should just wait and see if the Leprechaun spies his shadow come St. Patrick’s Day (nobody tell the groundhog). Read the rest of this entry

SOLO OCHO…

After a several day hiatus following the Los Angeles Marathon to let my sore muscles and equally sore ego heal, I finally hit the pavement this past Saturday.

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Back at it!

No lofty goals, just a simple 8-miler (an “ocho”) to get my legs moving again and let my body know “we’re back.”

But the first run after the Los Angeles Marathon is always a bit of bittersweet experience.

Basically every weekend since September I’ve been running with the Team to End AIDS (T2) crew. And last weekend that number exploded as I was pounding the pavement alongside 24,999 other crazy marathoners trying to get from “point A” all the way to the ocean and “point B.”

This past Saturday, however, I was running alone. Just me, myself and I.

And while my iPod shuffle is great at playing music, it’s not much of a conversationalist or motivational running buddy. Read the rest of this entry

“EMBRACE THE SUCK.”

While running the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday I caught sight of a very fitting sign.

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Nobody walks in LA, but they do run.

It said: “Embrace the suck.”

That perfectly summed up my race.

Now I originally had some reason to be optimistic going into my 10th full marathon. I was in pretty good shape physically, having just completed a 23-mile training run 3 weeks prior. And mentally I was raring to pound the pavement with my fabulous charity group Team To End AIDS (T2). Also I had reached my fundraising goal just 3 days before the race, so that was an added boost.

But to every yin, there has to be some yang.

On the downside I had been dealing with some issues with my right foot. A lingering blood blister on my arch kinda sucked. As did the growing callus on my right small toe. I also had developed a cough and headache in the days leading up to the race. Was it allergies, the start of a cold or just my nerves getting the better of me?

I guess we’d find out. Read the rest of this entry

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