Monday, March 9, 2015

Once More Onto the Streets of Burbank Dear Friends. Once More...

So here it is, the last Team to End AIDS run before the momentous 2015 Los Angeles Marathon which is now just a week away. True to form we’re still, as The Eagles once sang, takin’ it easy. We did a recovery run of 8 miles which took us through the streets of Burbank and Glendale which we have become very familiar with these past few months. It was nice way to celebrate another truly successful training season although it also feels very unreal that we’ve finally come to the end of it. I still see myself coming back next Saturday for another run even though I will instead be at the marathon expo getting my bib.

My constant obsession with Homicide: Life on The Street, a brilliant TV show that has been off the air for close to 20 years now, was today’s reason why I arrived at Griffith Park a little later than usual. Upon my arrival, Coach JC was telling everyone not to set any land speed records on this recovery run. At this point, I think it’s safe to say that we were way ahead of him on that.

The route of this run was chosen by our fellow Lucky 13 pace group runner John who succeeded in raising more money than any other Team to End AIDS participant. Not bad for a guy who is about to run his very first marathon. Part of me wanted to dare him to put in a hill or two on this route just to remind everyone that there are hills in the LA Marathon, but he decided to spare us that fate.

It was another very, very sunny day in Southern California, so I decided not to wear a jacket on this run as I knew I would be disposing of it sooner than later. I felt that I got off to a good start, but I ended up trailing behind many others in my pace group. Actually, I shouldn’t consider that a bad thing because we all were supposed to take it easy on this run anyway. Still, I wondered if being the last person in said more about me than I wanted it to.

On this run I continued to keep a good eye on my form as I constantly kept thinking that I was leaning forward much more than I should. Moreover, I was seriously intent on avoiding any injuries that could possibly come my way. How infinitely frustrating would it be to suddenly drop a microwave on your feet a week before the marathon? Forget about how painful it would be (and boy would it hurt like a son of a bitch), to do all those months of training and suddenly be undone by the most pathetic of accidents can’t do much for your ego, assuming it’s inflated enough to get you through this crazy thing called life.

The fact that this is our last training run feels unreal. I’ve gotten so used to meeting up with my fellow Team to End AIDS runners that I feel like I’m still going to see them at Griffith Park next Saturday. Instead, we will next see one another at the Triumph Dinner this Friday, a dinner which will also serve as our carbo load feast to give us fuel for the marathon. Either that or we will bump into one another at the marathon expo this weekend.

 You know what this means? I’ll get to sleep in on Saturday morning for the first time in months. Now normally that’s a cause for celebration, but it actually feels unnerving. The clock is ticking and we only have so much time left to hang out with one another.

While I am a bit nervous about running the LA Marathon for the fifth year in a row, I’m even more nervous about what’s going to happen after it. My hope is that I will make going to the gym a regular habit or that I will make more frequent use of my Nintendo Wii so that I can keep the pounds off. After last year’s marathon I let myself go a little too much, and anyone knows me knows how much I like to complain about how history repeats itself.

As we approached the finish line where I was bringing up the rear, it still didn’t feel like the training season was coming to an end. I still feel like I need another run or two before I start travelling 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium all the way to Santa Monica. Well, there’s always maintenance runs.

So this looks to be it for now. A big thanks to all the Team to End AIDS coaches, runners and volunteers who have all helped one another to prepare for a feat few would dare to take on. Another big thanks to the Bolivers for all their love and support as they have been with us right from the start. We will miss their peanut butter and pickle covered Ritz crackers come marathon day. Then again ask them to make a whole bunch for the runners next Sunday would be rather suicidal considering the thousands who have signed up for this event which involves a sport which is as mental as they come.

More importantly, thanks to all of you who took the time to donate to my fundraising efforts for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Special thanks also to Ed, Dan and Kay Mahoney for getting me to my goal in such an incredibly generous fashion. You have done more to help those afflicted with AIDS than you realize.

So let’s get hydrated, stock up on Gatorade (and maybe even buy stock in Gatorade while we’re at), get those salt packets and energy gels ready, buy large bottles of sunscreen and anti-chafe cream, and make sure to not break any bones or pull any muscles on or before March 15th. More importantly, let’s get ready to run through a city that will come together in a way it usually does not. 2015 LA Marathon, HERE WE COME!!! 

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