After punishing our bodies with a twenty-three mile run (even if it didn’t have much in the way of hills), we Team to End AIDS runners got a much needed recovery run of 8 miles today. Anything less than twenty-three miles is cake for us at this point, and it inflated our egos to know that we could complete today’s mileage with relative ease. The sun was shining brighter than it did last week, but that’s partly because we started at our regular time of 7 a.m. as opposed to an hour earlier last week due to the double digit mileage.
But even though the sun shone brightly to where you’d think Daylight Savings Time had started up again without us knowing it, it was still very cold that morning at Griffith Park. One of the Twisted Blisters pace group members Jessica remarked that this was because the sky was clear, and there indeed wasn’t a cloud to be found. She then said if there were clouds in the sky, then it would be warmer. This reminded me of my Physical Geography class in junior college which remains the best science class I’ve ever had at any school; the teacher reminded us that heat that gets trapped in the air as the clouds keep it from getting refracted back into the atmosphere. Of all the science classes I’ve ever had, that’s the only one I can remember anything from.
Today was especially special as Coach Scott’s parents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. In times when marriages are lucky enough to get to year two, this is a most noteworthy accolade which deserves acknowledgement. As a result, we were encouraged to participate in a “flash mob” where we did a choreographed dance to the song “Everlasting Love.” I’m not sure which version of it was used, but it sounded like it was one made very recently. Personally I prefer the version U2 did.
There was a video on Facebook which gave us the dance moves, but I unfortunately never got around to learning them. Part of me got caught up in watching the CPDRC inmates in Cebu, Philippines work on their dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” That sequence where Michael turns into a zombie and dances with the others, the music is very infectious and I love listening to it. I know that’s a pitiful excuse, but there you go. Plus I have been doing a lot of freelance writing recently as that’s one of the few things making me any money at the moment.
The “flash mob” took place before our run, and it was easy to tell who had learned the moves and who didn’t. Those who never got around to learning the choreography were encouraged to wave their hands in the air to the rhythm of the music. I did that even though my arms got tired quickly, and I couldn’t help but feel a little silly doing it. Then again, having done that speed walking clinic a few weeks back in which I had to remember to keep my arms above my waist, I remembered what the man leading it said to me:
“If you look silly doing it, that means you’re doing it right.”
Anyway, a most happiest of anniversaries to Coach Scott’s parents! Staying together for fifty years is a monumental achievement considering the divorce rate in this country, and it’s a testament to the love they have for one another.
Our 8 mile run today took us in a circular route around Burbank pass such sites as Warner Brothers Studios, the Chipotle Restaurant which sits where El Torito used to be, Don Cuco’s Mexican Restaurant where I went to when me and my friends were finished doing a play that evening, and down Forest Lawn Drive where we needed to run single file for our own safety. I saw the orange cones along the side of the road as I made my way to Griffith Park, so I had a bit of an idea of which direction we would be heading in today.
The thing about running on Forest Lawn Drive is that there are corners where runners are not easily seen as drivers are racing around them at 45 miles per hour (which is the speed limit). We always run against traffic instead of with it for our own safety, but there are times where I wish was on the other side of the road as it felt like we were not as easy a target that way. Plus we are running past a cemetery which we may end up in if we’re not careful.
But today we had a great motivation to run like never before as there was something special waiting for us at the end: PANCAKES!!! The coaches promised us a breakfast like no other, and that gave us a reason to get through these 8 miles very quickly. The only thing was that with Coach Scott’s parents helping out with cooking them, there were no peanut butter and pickle covered Ritz crackers at the water stops. Still, there were volunteers out there on the road for us with water, Gatorade of various flavors, and pretzels which give us the salt we needed.
Knowing what waiting for us at the finish line gave us a reason to finish a little faster than usual, but we still needed to watch our pace. As we are now only 2 weeks away from the 2012 LA Marathon, we have to watch ourselves as it would be enormously frustrating to get an injury just days before the big event. That’s been a nightmare of mine recently as my dreams find me getting started at the last and worst possible minute. How infuriating would it be to wake up after the marathon started? I hope I don’t find out.
As we get closer to spring, the weather gets hotter and hotter to where it feels like we’re being unfairly punished. I have a lot of compression gear on during these runs, and I keep wondering if I should if I should lighten the load a bit even before the marathon begins. I keep chugging through more water and Gatorade than I have previously to where I was more thankful for these water stops than ever before. Not only do I need to stock up on those liquids, but I need to get more sunscreen lotion as well.
Speaking of sun tan lotion, I made sure to put some on before I left my apartment this morning. It took a little bit though for me to realize that I was rubbing Clearasil Ultra Vanishing Acne Treatment Cream over myself. Not only that, but it was expired too. Fortunately I recognized my mistake and found the right stuff to use. Still, if you noticed acne on my arms in the past but didn’t see any on them today, that’s why.
Despite the increasingly hot weather, it was a good run which we all easily survived. It was worth it just for the breakfast (or brunch if you want to call it that) of pancakes, fruit, and pork sausage. There were mini-pancakes at first which looked cute on top of edible, and we could not get enough of them. I especially loved the pork sausage which despite its high cholesterol content was quite delectable. The coaches encouraged us to have seconds, but I ended up having thirds. These days I am all about free food, so today I could not get enough of what was being offered. In retrospect though, I probably should have had more fruit. Having all this food quickly reminded me of how one of the reasons I decided to run a marathon was to lose weight. Feeling as bloated as I did after today, I began wondering if I had lost as much weight as I had hoped to. Here’s hoping the answer to that is a resounding yes.
So after today, we have one more recovery run before the actual marathon which commences on March 18th. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in what seems like a short period of time. I keep wondering where all the time went by as it feels like we just started training yesterday.
Once again, a big thank you goes out to those volunteers waiting for us at the water stops with all the food and drinks we need. Please believe me when I say that your presence is more than appreciated. I hope Coach Scott’s parents have the happiest of anniversaries, and to all the runners who’ve stuck with this marathon training program through thick and thin, I congratulate you. We’re almost there!
Other days of 2012 LA Marathon Training:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 9.5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18