Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The Iceman Runneth 20 Miles

It’s been a few weeks since we entered double digit mileage territory in our training for the 2015 Los Angeles Marathon, and now we are taking things a step further. This training run had us running 20 miles, the furthest distance we have ran so far, and regardless of whether or not we’re marathon veterans, we came into this run with a lot of anxiety. 

While most Team to End AIDS runs start at 7 am in the morning, this one started at 6 am because of the distance. As a result I got up at 5 am so that I could get up, lather myself with all the anti-chafe cream I had on me and put on all the anti-cotton clothing I had on me. My alarm clock for once woke me up at the right time, and I got up as quickly as I could even while I was slightly detained by Two Girls and a Guy which stars Robert Downey Jr., Heather Graham and Natasha Gregson Wagner. It’s the kind of movie that shows what an amazing talent Downey Jr. is, and Graham is quite luscious in it as well.

Anyway, I had to make a quick stop at Ralphs supermarket to get ice as my pace group Lucky 13 was responsible for bringing food and treats for the runners to feast on at the finish line, and I was asked to bring ice. I dashed in but wondered if I should get a 7 pound bag of ice or a 20 pound one. The time I had to decide on that was minimal, so I just went with the 7 pound bag and raced to the nearest express checkout. But since it was so early in the morning, only 3 registers were open which had me waiting in line impatiently as I wanted to arrive at Griffith Park on time. Thankfully, an African American woman ahead of me invited me to go ahead of her as I had one item and she had at least a dozen. That was very thoughtful of her.

Despite that unforeseen delay, I did make it out to Griffith Park in one piece and while it was still a little cold outside. I placed the bag of ice next to all the goodies the Lucky 13 pace group brought, hoping that someone would know what to do with it before it all melted. No one asked me to bring a cooler anyway. After we finished our warm ups where Coach JC reminded us to not set any land speed records on this run (good advice), I suddenly realized that I left my sunglasses in my car. Since the Lucky 13’s were the first head off to the starting line, I made a mad dash for my car so I could get them. It also gave me a good idea of how fast NOT to run for the rest of the day.

I was fumbling about with my phone trying to get Runkeeper started as our run began, and I was a little peeved that I wasn’t able to start my timer along with everybody else. Once again, I need to get a watch with interval timing.

On our 18 mile run a few weeks ago, I ended up taking some CVS Tylenol-wannabe tablets to ease the pain I knew I was going to experience. With this run I decided to go with a CVS Aleve-wannabe tablet as it is said to last 12 hours instead of 6 or whatever. Taking that into account, I guess you could say that I have been experimenting with drugs. 

With this 20 mile run, we took a tour of sorts through the various movie studios in Burbank and Glendale. We of course passed by Warner Brothers Studios which was nearby and we ran past Disney Animation Studios which one building being held up by the Seven Dwarves from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I forgot how strong those dwarves are. Then again, the Lord of the Rings movies should have reminded me of that.

We never get to run inside the studios though, so maybe calling it a tour isn’t all that accurate. 
It was good that we left at 6 am instead of 7. I don’t just say that because of the long distance we were going to be running, but it allowed us to enjoy the cooler temperatures before they disappeared. It was another hot day that was humid more than anything else. The flies were in our faces again but not as much as last week. Thankfully we had the Bolivers and other volunteers helping us stay hydrated. 

Once again I was focusing on my body and making sure I wasn’t slouching. It felt like I was slouching at times which concerned me. As for the agony my feet were enduring, it wasn’t too bad thanks to that CVS Aleve-wannabe tablet I ended up having. But if I wasn’t in intense pain at that point, I figured I would be at some point. My feet and knees were thanking me for taking pain medication beforehand, but I also knew they would have their revenge on me later.

According to Runkeeper I was on the road for 5 hours and 35 minutes and had burned close to 4,000 calories (man I hope that’s accurate). While I came out of the last few runs feeling like hammered shit, this one had me feeling better than I had in a long time. It was great too because the last couple of days had me dealing with another employment situation coming to a frustrating and abrupt conclusion (the less said about it here, the better). That’s what I love about running; it gets all those endorphins working to such a liberating effect to where you feel great and sore all at the same time.

While I have been averse to taking ice baths this training season, I knew having one after a 20 mile run was of the upmost necessity. Once I finished filling my bathtub up with cold water and dumped a 20 pound bag of ice in it (7 wasn’t going to be enough this time), it felt refreshing in a way it usually never does. I was also reminded of what one of my marathon training buddies from 2012 said when she put her feet in a kiddie pool filled with ice cold water:

“That hurts worse than running!”

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