Category Archives: Training
I was going to put an elegant or witty spin on things, but why not just come out and say it.
Exercise-wise… last week sucked.
I mean really sucked.
Like black hole sucking in all matter unfortunate enough to be near it sucked.
For some reason, I was just sort of “off” all last week.
I struggled on my maintenance runs (which almost never happens) and my planned 12-mile Saturday jaunt collapsed like a house of sweaty cards after a mere 7 miles.
I even skipped two of my cross-training workouts in favor of some extra zzz’s in case I was rundown.
I’ve been nervous prior to runs and races before:
- My first 10-mile training run
- My first half marathon
- My first 20-mile training run
- My first full marathon
Yesterday, however, was the most apprehensive I’ve been before a run in a long long time.
And it was just a 10K recovery run.
So, I’m one week out from the San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon and this morning was my final long taper run. Typically, I go with 8 miles the week before a race (old habit).
However, I didn’t have a good training week, for whatever reason, and I felt inclined to add a few more miles today… upping it from an “ocho” to a nice round “diez.”
Speaking of inclines (cue snare drum) I was looking over the elevation chart for San Diego and goodness gracious there is a significant hill. Let me rephrase that, a real bitch of a hill. Yup, a 300′ elevation gain in one mile. Makes me wonder if they’ll supply climbing gear.
And this bigger than a molehill occurs at mile 20, right when plenty of runners are slamming headfirst into “the wall.” So apparently we not only have to run through the wall, we also have to climb over the bastard too.
I have a recurring problem… okay several (Ha Ha), but this one I’m willing to talk about openly.
It’s hats… in particular, baseball hats. Yup, I’m addicted to those wonderfully brimmed beauties that keep the sun and sweat out of our eyes while simultaneously professing our love of a particular team, product or place.
I equate my love of ball caps to that of ladies’ obsession with shoes. I mean how many pairs of black heels can you own? Apparently a boatload. I can certainly relate.
As a little kid I loved to wear the ball caps of my favorite professional teams or whatever little league team I was playing on. And when my dad would go to Asia on business he would bring me back ball caps of Japanese baseball teams (my favorite was the Tokyo Giants). Fortunately, by the time I hit my teens I kind of grew out of them and showed the world my blonde locks uncluttered by headwear.
Then came college.
As a student at the University of Wisconsin (yes, those “Final Four” bound Badgers… woo hoo), my baseball cap addiction reappeared with a vengeance as I started collecting oodles of Wisconsin ball caps. Then when I went onto grad school at Florida State, the collection only got bigger with the addition of FSU hats to my already massive collection of UW hats.
Oh, it gets worse.
The other day I walked into a nearby McDonald’s.
Now in days past, I would have sashayed right up to the counter for a Chicken McNuggets super value meal complete with large fries, diet coke and an extra burger for good measure.
But these are no longer those days.
With the exception of a once a season Shamrock Shake (yum), I tend not to visit McD’s lest I have absolutely no alternative. Sorry Ronald, but please tell Grimace and the Fry Guys I said “hi.”
So, if not to stuff my face with the grub that made Morgan Spurlock a household name (still remember him), then why in the name of Mayor McCheese was I limboing under the Golden Arches.
And no, this post is not about the George Burns/Charlie Schlatter “body switching” Freaky Friday wannabe flick from the 80s. I’ll wait while you check out IMDB to see if this movie actually exists or if I’m just making this crap up.
Anyway, yesterday I talked about doing my first “solo” long run (17-18 mile) of 2014 and few of my trepidations.
17 or 18 miles, what was it going to be?
Well, for those of you wondering (and if you were truly wondering, thank you, but you really should consider a different hobby), today was indeed an 18-mile jaunt around Burbank and in Griffith Park.
So between work being uber-crazy and constantly watching “March Madness” (Go Badgers) in my peripheral vision, my day has been rather hectic.
But tomorrow morning I’ll be up at the crack of dawn (funny, whenever someone says or I write “crack of dawn” I hear an imaginary rooster crowing in my head… weird). As I was saying, I’ll be up at the crack of dawn (there it is again… sorry) to do double duty on a run. It’s my last long run before the Hollywood Half Marathon on April 5th, but it’s also a training run to stay in marathon shape for the OC Marathon on May 4th. So, I’ll be doing 17 or 18 miles in and around Burbank. No big deal right… I mean I just did 20 & 23 mile training runs with Team To End AIDS back in February. One difference…
I’ll be running solo.
And it’ll be a little weird.
Just a brief post today as I analyze, ponder and pontificate about yesterday’s LA Marathon. I’m thinking about what went right, what went wrong and how I’d do it differently if I had it to do all over again.
And still agonizing over that bloody heat.
I’m also going to do my best to avoid the “Post marathon blues” (it’s a real thing) as you come to grips with the fact that the event you’ve been training for and planning for months has now come and gone. The pictures are posted, and my newest race medal is up on the wall with his brothers and sisters.
The thing I’ll miss most now that the LA Marathon is over is not meeting up with my T2 family every Saturday morning for that week’s training session. I truly looked forward to seeing the gang from “Team Roadkill” and the rest of the T2 group as we hit the road together.
The Los Angeles Marathon is one week from today, and every post this week will be about the “Stadium to the sea” run and my preparations (and trepidations) for it.
Today I wanted to take a moment to say “thank you” to a special group, that I’ve dubbed “My Thirty.”
As part of Team To End AIDS (T2), my goal is to help increase awareness and raise funds to support AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). Last October I began my fundraising, asking everyone within the sound of my voice (or within the reach of my Facebook) to help contribute to this worth cause.
Earlier this week I wrote a post in preparation for the inevitable deluge that was sure to turn our final pre-LA Marathon taper run into a swim or at the very least an 8-mile game of “dodge the puddles.”
And sure enough, it did pour in LA this week. Between Wednesday and today, the City of Angeles has been subject to the heavens repeatedly opening up and inundating us with sheets of pounding precipitation. Of course the rest of the country would describe the cataclysmic cloudbursts slightly different… it rained.
All kidding aside, we needed the rain to help the drought conditions. So while we did get a nice drink of water, Los Angeles is still quite thirsty.
So, my alarm (first one) went off this morning at 4:45am. No big deal because I had been awake since 4:00am in anticipation for today’s 23-mile “fun run.”
As I mentioned the other day, today was our “celebration run” for Team To End AIDS (T2). So our group of marathoners (and marathoners-to-be) met at “0 Dark Thirty” (okay 6am, but it was still dark out) in Griffith Park. Huddled in the glow of lanterns, we were given specially made “celebration run bibs” courtesy of our coach JC and a very nice touch.
So after a pep talk from Ashley and a breakdown of the route from JC (apparently we were running everywhere on planet Earth… with a hill to boot), my pace group “Team Roadkill” or “Team Road Kyll” (if you go with our funky spelling this year) gathered our forces, 19 of us today, for the trek.
Tomorrow morning I’ve got a long run to do. A very long run. 23-miles to be exact or about 88% of a marathon.
But this isn’t your ordinary 23-mile run. Rather, it’s a celebration.
Back in October, I started training for the 2014 Los Angeles Marathon with my running group Team to End AIDS (T2). For 5 months now we’ve been meeting up every Saturday (rain or shine) at Griffith Park to pound pavement together and raise money for APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles). To date, our merry band of marathoners has raised over $130,000 to help those people in LA whose lives are impacted by HIV/AIDS.
And on Saturday we celebrate with our longest run of the season. Starting at 6am, we’ll spend the next 5 or so hours running through Griffith Park and along the streets of Burbank, Glendale and Toluca Lake.
Today’s date, February 9th, 2014, is exactly one month until the Los Angeles Marathon. In just 28 days I’ll be pounding the pavement with 25,000 other leggers on the “stadium to the sea” course.
And I’m a little nervous.
Last week I ran my 25th half marathon (Surf City) and posted my best race time ever. While 13.1 miles is certainly nothing to sneeze at, I feel confident in my abilities when it comes to completing the half marathon. At this point, I’m working on increasing my pace in the hopes of breaking the 2-hour mark sometime this year. The half marathon doesn’t scare me anymore like it did the first time I laced up my shoes.
Not so with the marathon.
“Change comes from within.” -Anonymous
Change is hard. Change takes time. Change hurts. Change is to venture outside your comfort zone and into the great unknown.
Let’s face it. Change is scary as hell.
We often will tolerate bad jobs, unfulfilling relationships and unsatisfactory life situations simple because we’d rather deal with that damn devil we know as opposed to put forth the effort to do something about it.
“What if we fail?”
“What if we make things worse?”
To that I say, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”