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PHASE 2…

phase2I hope everyone had a great holiday season and that your 2017 is off to a rousing start complete with an exciting list of “New Year’s resolutions.”

For those dawdlers who have yet to start on your resolutions, worry not. This is really the first full week of 2017… Jan. 1 falling on a Sunday and the “official” holiday being on a Monday kinda made the whole week feel a tad wonky. So pick this week as your starting point.

As for me, my Los Angeles marathon training got a resolution-sized kick in the pants this past week courtesy of my running coach. We’re just past the halfway point in our 5-month training prep and James informed myself and the rest of the T2 gang that we are now entering “Phase 2.” Read the rest of this entry

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2016 RESOLUTED…

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Run run Rudolph!

A week ago I ran my last race of 2016, the Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run 10K. Clad in holiday colors and matching reindeer antlers (of course), I lumbered through the streets of (you guessed it) Santa Monica and Venice. I had a really good time and also finished with a pretty good time (58:41), my fastest 10K for the year.

Now that I’ve placed my last piece of 2016 race bling upon the wall (time to get another medal hanger too), it’s time to take quick glance back at the running year that was.

Back in December of 2015 I stated that my overall plan for 2016 was to “take it as it comes.” Meaning simply that I wouldn’t obsess over obtaining goals, but rather just go forward and have fun. In hindsight, that plan seems to have worked out pretty well. Read the rest of this entry

…ONE LAST HURRAH!

In the fall of 2008,  when I was at a particularly low point, I made the decision to push myself to do something I thought impossible… I was going to run a marathon.

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Run on T2!

With very little running experience (just a smattering of 10Ks in my entire life) I had no real idea how I was going to make this crazy dream a reality. I needed someone to teach me how to run. I looked around at a bunch of LA running groups, but they were either expensive or located too far away for me to be confident I wouldn’t give up.

And then I saw a pamphlet for the AIDS Marathon Training Program (Team to End AIDS) and read how they’d train you to run the LA Marathon in exchange for you raising funds to help their charity APLA (AIDS Project Los Angeles). Cool.

And they trained in Griffith Park, which was a 5-minute drive from my apartment. Super cool. 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

DOUBLE DIGITS…

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Woo hoo!

I remember way back when I was 9 years old (you know, when dinosaurs roamed the earth) and my 10th birthday was just around the corner.

I felt that reaching “double digits” was going to be a monumental feat. I had finally earned that “big boy” status. And I got to eat a stupid amount of birthday cake to celebrate that milestone.

This Sunday I will hit the double digits in a different way. This Sunday at the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon I will run my 10th full marathon.

Now to many of my running “brethren” and “sistren” (okay I know it’s not a word, but you still understood it), 10 full marathons is just a drop in the racing bucket. I’ve got personal friends of mine who have run dozens, even hundreds of full marathons (they impress the hell out of me). However, that 26.2 mile trek still humbles this boy. Read the rest of this entry

TWENTY WAS PLENTY…

This past Saturday I did my first proper run of 2016… and it was a bit of a doozie.

20-mile-mark

20 miles or 20 meters? Not much difference, right?

Let me backtrack for a minute first. For the past two and half weeks, I was out of town with Lindy for an extended Christmas/New Years holiday.

We spent time visiting my family in Atlanta and then drove up to Nashville for a week visiting friends of hers and checking out the sights.

During our time in the South we were alternating between lounging around, hanging out with friends and running around like crazy checking out museums and live music. Good stuff.

Both types of activities resulted in me placing my normal dietary considerations on hold… okay, more like tying up my considerations with a rope and throwing them off a cliff screaming… but why split hairs. Read the rest of this entry

RUNNING COMFY…

Now some of you seeing the title above might might think this post is about running in cozy shoes.

These are the jammies you're looking for.

These are the jammies you’re looking for.

Or perhaps pounding the pavement whilst (I love the word “whilst”…thanks Britain) wearing your favorite winter “jammies.”

You’d be mistaken.

NOTE: For the record, wearing jammies on a run would probably chafe something fierce in the nether regions.

Actually this brief tidbit is just about running in an environment that is both familiar and fun. The kind of run that gives you the “warm fuzzies.”

And for me, no running environment is more friendly or soothing to my sweaty soul than lacing ’em up and running with my running family: the gang at TEAM TO END AIDS (T2).

This week I did my first Saturday run of the season with T2, as we begin training for the 2016 Los Angeles Marathon (on Valentine’s Day). This will be my 7th time running LA with them.

As I hopped out of my car at Griffith Park at 7:00am, I smiled as I saw our T2 banners waving in the wind (at least they would have waved if there was any wind) and a sea of red shirts gathering by our regular meeting place. Read the rest of this entry

TIME TO TEAM UP WITH T2…

Yesterday we bid August adieu and it’s now time to flip the page on your kitten calendars to September.

T2 Flags

Run on T2!

Labor Day Weekend is just around the corner, along with the start of the college and pro football seasons (get those fantasy drafts ready).

And today, September 1st, also marks the start of registration for the 2016 LA Marathon.

However, the 31st running of the Los Angeles Marathon is going to be rather unique.

How come?

For starters, the race is a month earlier that usual. Instead of lacing up our shoes around St. Patty’s Day, we’ll be pounding the pavement on Valentine’s Day (trade in your leprechaun and shamrock for a bow & arrow-wielding Cupid).

And why would they possibly do that? Read the rest of this entry

REVIEW: 2015 ASICS LA MARATHON

30th anniversary bling.

30th anniversary bling.

RACE: Asics 2015 Los Angeles Marathon

DATE: March 15th, 2015

DISTANCES: Marathon (Sunday)/5K (Saturday)

LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA

START TIME: 6:55am (moved up from 7:25am)

WEATHER AT START: 69° and hot.

FINISHERS: 21,589 (12,569 Men/9,389 Women)

(Updated from 2014 Review) Read the rest of this entry

I LOVE LA (MARATHON)…

Hi Trippers!

Nobody walks in LA!

Nobody walks in LA!

This Sunday myself and 24,999 other runners will line up for the 30th Anniversary Los Angeles Marathon.

Say what you will about the “City of Angels”: stupid bad traffic, crazy real estate prices, the insanity that is the “biz”, earthquakes, smog, etc…

But when it comes to putting on a marathon, singer Randy Newman got it right. “I love LA!” Read the rest of this entry

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT

Hi Trippers,

Next Sunday I will run the LA Marathon for the 6th time, pounding 26.2 miles of pavement from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean.

It will also mark the 6th time I’ve run the race as a member of the Team To End AIDS (T2) charity running group.

The 2015 T2 LA Marathon Running Team.

The 2015 T2 LA Marathon Running Team.

Simply put, T2 and their fantastic coaches and support staff helped turn this former couch potato into a marathon runner. I will forever be grateful to them. Read the rest of this entry

RACE “STRATEGERY”

Hey Trippers,

This Sunday I’m lacing up my shoes to run the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach. It’s the site of my very first ever half marathon back in 2009 and this will be my third time pounding the pavement along this beautiful stretch of coast.

Last year I posted a 2:06:33, which was a PR for me at the time (I’d break it two months later at the Hollywood Half Marathon and then again at the REVEL Big Cottonwood Half). It’s a fun race with a great “surfboard” medal and a good calorie-deficit primer for all of the Super Bowl chowing to come later in the day.

If you asked me what my gameplan for the race would be six months ago, I’d say this was a no doubt “balls to the wall” PR race attempt. Read the rest of this entry

I AM A “MANIAC” AND VERY HAPPY ABOUT IT.

 

A special kind of crazy.

A special kind of crazy.

Back in October I joined… or should I say I “qualified” for the Half Fanatics, a group of 8,000+ runners (and growing daily) who tear through races like happy hour patrons tear through a free buffet.

Yeah, the Half Fanatics run a whole helluva lot of races.

They’re my “running fraternity” and I wrote a post about ’em a few months ago. Check it out here.

Well there’s one thing to note about the Half Fanatics; they are actually a “spin off” of another popular running group. Yup, for all intents and purposes, they are the “Laverne & Shirley,” “Mork & Mindy” or “Joanie Loves Chachi” (best include ’em all) to the “Happy Days”* of running groups: the Marathon Maniacs.

Read the rest of this entry

THANK HEAVEN FOR 11 (MILES)…

Got Garmin?

Got Garmin?

Just a quick post on this Sunday, as it is a beautiful day outside.

One week removed from the LA Marathon and I went for my first long run this morning. I would have gone yesterday, but since Friday night was my birthday and the libations were flowing freely, I opted to sleep in on Saturday morning and shift my weekly long run one day (I’m sure you approve).

I was wondering if I’d feel fully recovered or if there would be lingering stiffness with my legs (I was still feeling it a little on Thursday). This was also going to be my first solo long run of 2014, now that the T2 training program is done until October. Now for those of you wondering… YES, I signed up for the 2015 LA Marathon and the T2 training program on Tuesday, right after they put up the notice. And I’m clearly not the only crazy one as several of my T2 brothers and sisters have given their “thumbs up” to training again in the fall too.

Read the rest of this entry

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