Day 3 of 2012 LA Marathon Training

by on July 22nd, 2011
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Today was a dark and overcast day, and those heavy clouds on the sky threatened to rain on us without sympathy. I set my alarm clock for 5:30 am as the coaches of Team To End AIDS invited us to come to Griffith Park a little earlier to work on some core training exercises. These exercises are designed to prevent future injuries, and it was something we should all participate in. Indeed, the alarm on my watch went off at 5:30 am, so I was up… The next time I looked at my watch however, it was 6:55 am. Errr…

I hate being late to these training runs! It makes me nervous because I begin thinking that others will see me as a flake or as one who doesn’t take running a marathon all that seriously. I figured if I drove up La Brea Avenue this early in the morning, the lights would be green more almost the whole way which never happens during the week. Of course, then I turn onto Highland Avenue, get on the freeway, and then had to veer across several lanes as my exit is less than a mile from the freeway entrance. If I miss the Barham exit, then it feels like it will take forever to get back in the right direction. Going from lane to lane has me sitting stiff as a surf board in my car as I’m usually convinced I will run smack dab into someone without even knowing they are in the next lane. Fortunately I didn’t cause damage any damage to my car or anyone else’s. But having been involved in three major car accidents (two of which were not my fault), I’m always thinking the next one is right around the corner.

Although we’re asked to be there at 7 am, we never start running exactly at that time. We’re usually warming up while being given instructions for our coaches, and then they send the pace groups in order from fastest to slowest. I’m in one of the middle groups, so I figured they would still be there when I showed up as we typically wait there in the freezing cold like it’s the actual marathon. We’ve trained all this time and now we have to wait even longer? It’s maddening I tells ya!

Well, I missed everyone by a few minutes, but one of the coaches Bart was happy to drive me out to my pace group so I could catch up with them. I said out loud that it was not my intention to be late and that it’s embarrassing to end up coming after everyone else has ran off, but Bart said:

“Shit happens.”

How true.

When I did catch up with my pace group, they were happy to see me and didn’t give me any guff over my unplanned tardiness. In fact, some of them actually noticed that I have lost weight. And not just that, they said I’ve lost A LOT of weight. One pace group leader who didn’t know me before this training period, noticed how different I looked from pictures taken of me that are posted on my Facebook page. Now how sweet is it when people say that out loud? I suddenly felt like Eddie Murphy in the “The Nutty Professor” when he takes his own formula and loses all the excess weight to reveal a very sexy man who appears to be in fantastic shape. That one’s been on cable a lot recently, and I always laugh when he first looks at himself in the mirror:

“AAAHHHHH!!!! I’m thin! I’M THIN! I got cheekbones! (singing) I got cheekbones, I got cheekbones… Oh my god, I can see my dick! I CAN SEE MY DICK!!!”

Okay I’ll stop there.

One thing we all noticed is how deceptive the hills in Los Angeles can be. While some are clearly visible, there are others you don’t realize are hills until you start running up them. Once the pain hits, you realize you’re screwed because you can’t just turn around (not unless you want to cheat on your mileage). Fortunately, the turn around was just a few feet away which allowed us to do more damage to our bodies as we ran downhill.

Every time we came to the train tracks, either Amtrak or Metrolink would be zooming on by. Another runner and I managed to make it across long before the train passed us by. We encouraged the other runners in our group to come across as the train was still a ways off, but they decided to wait which was just as well. This train wasn’t some enormous monolith that had several dozen cars attached to it. This one had 4 or 5 at the most and zipped on by very quickly. I mumbled that we should do a game of train dodging, fortunately no one heard me. It’s like I was that serious about it anyway. I’m not Ariel, and this sure isn’t “Footloose” (either version mind you).

We are all still in the process of learning each other’s names, but we’re getting better at. One female runner actually told me that she prefers to have people ask for her name because if they don’t, she would assume that didn’t want to know her. I found this interesting because I usually assume that people in general just get annoyed when you keep asking what their name is. I’m just waiting for them to say that I they’ve said their name three times already, and I’ll just wander off into a corner to avoid embarrassment. For all I know, they are assuming that I’m in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

My knees seem to take the runs better these days, but my hips are really starting to complain. I’m trying to remain conscious of my form and not to land on my heels as that can cause irreparable damage to my body. Still, I can almost hear the conversation my hips are having with my knees during all this.

HIPS: Oh no! He’s running again?! Why does he keep doing this to us?

KNEES: Hey! Don’t complain to me! I’ve put up with his running longer than you! Now you know how I feel!

HIPS: Well how did you cope?

KNEES: That’s for you to figure out!

HIPS: Oh come on! You can’t left me suffer like this!

KNEES: Look, you’re asking me to relieve the most painful moments of my existence. Don’t make me go there!

Anyway, we did a five mile run today (or in my case just over four) and it never rained on us. It probably will in the future though, but I’ve been there before. I can swim a run if I want. I just hope none of us have to swim the LA Marathon in March of 2012. Longer runs are coming up soon, and they promise actual hills!

I should also add our pace group has finally settled on a name, Twisted Blisters. I wish I could say I came up with that name, but my contributions of Saturday the 13th 30’s doesn’t really compare. But unlike a certain heavy metal band from the 80s who sang about how they’re not going to take it anymore, we are.

At the time of this writing, I have raised $260 for AIDS Project Los Angeles. I still need to get to my minimum of $1,000 and any help will do. Even if it’s just $5 dollars, that will still go a long way. Click here to make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation.

See also:

Day 1 of 2012 LA Marathon Training

Day 2 of 2012 LA Marathon Training

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