Monday, September 21, 2015

Faster than a 13 minute pace group?

Okay, in my last marathon blog I said I was going to do cardio exercises all throughout the week. I even packed up my gym bag in a way I haven’t in the last few months, determined to make myself go through with this important and much-needed mission. Well, things did not go as planned as I ended up being a victim of check fraud which depleted my checking and savings accounts, and I had to spend a ridiculous number of hours getting an oil change, getting my rear brakes replaced and a new tire put on my car. It also didn’t help that the guys at the tire shop kind of forgot about me and my car for at least an hour.

Oh yeah, Ben Stein was also at the tire shop too if anyone is interested to know…

Anyway, this week’s Team to End AIDS run was the “Bring a Friend” run, so naturally I brought Bubba Eeyore with me. This is the same Eeyore that accompanied me on my 23 mile run when I trained for the LA Marathon in 2014. Hey, they said bring a friend!

Bubba ended up staying behind to guard the car keys of those running the Honolulu Marathon to where Coach Jennifer was convinced  he wanted to come to Honolulu as well (I’m sure he would jump at the chance).

We had a choice today of running either three or five miles. I decided to run five. Since all my fellow marathon buddies were running in the 12 minute pace group, I stuck with them. I guess there are times where I can’t help but be a follower. To say that it was relatively cool that morning in Griffith Park would have people staring right at you with their jaws dropped as if to say, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!!” Let’s just say that we’re all really glad to run early in the morning. It sucks not to sleep in on a Saturday, but at least we got the run out of the way before the temperature reached an unbearable level.

This run took us outside of Griffith Park and into parts of Burbank many of us have traversed before. It also allowed us to catch up with the Bolivars who were at a local park serving us with all the treats any runner could ever need any day (especially on one as hot as this). And of course, this marked the return of those peanut butter pickle covered Ritz crackers which remain as addictive as ever. Coach JC may be repelled by them, but for everyone else they are insatiable.

Having trained time and time again for the LA Marathon, I usually come into a run like this saying, “It’s only five miles.” It drives those who don’t run nuts, but it makes perfect sense to those who have long since been bitten by the running bug. But this run definitely felt longer than usual, and it wasn’t just because of the heat. Having missed my opportunity to do those two maintenance runs during the week, the strain showed to where I didn’t even try to hide it. I didn’t falter or give up, but my form was definitely off this time around. I need to keep up with training during the week and to get myself to doing all those cardio exercises I promised myself I would do throughout the week. Also, a decrease in junk food would be helpful too (don’t ask why).

As the group made their way back to where we started, I had to stop at one point to “drop the kids in the pool.” I thought I could make it to the end before having to go to the bathroom, but then I remembered that there’s not much in the way of portable toilets near our running site. I wasn’t sure if anyone heard I was going to give a shit and not wait up for me… I know the correct term is to “take a shit,” but who really takes one? You don’t take a shit, you give a shit. Granted, the term “giving a shit” may have multiple meanings, but when it comes to going to the bathroom that term makes a hell of a lot more sense.

Thankfully I didn’t have to spend too long at the bathroom and the finish line was not all that far away. As I made my way back to Griffith Park, Winston (who ran the 2015 LA Marathon with me) came running my way to make sure I was okay. I was fine, and even he admitted there was no way I would drop dead during a run.

As we approached the finish line, it was getting hotter and hotter. When you literally yards away from the end, the run begins to feel a lot longer than it has any right to. I always kind of resent that about running in general. Maybe it’s because I keep getting Vietnam-like flashbacks of when I ran cross country in high school and feeling like I would die a painful death before I even crossed the finish line. Either that or the sun was shining so brightly that I couldn’t stop thinking about that cup of ice cold water waiting for me  at the end and of how I wanted it sooner than later. This was especially the case when we did runs in 80 degree heat without any shade.

Well, considering that I am writing about this run, it’s safe to say that I completed it and am still breathing. Coach JC, however, was concerned that me and several others were in the wrong pace group. He said he understood how runners always try to push themselves to another level, but considering the time we finished in, it made more sense for us to run in the 13 minute pace group. This should show you just how much JC is looking out for us as a marathon coach. Do not doubt his dedication to making sure we cross the finish line next February.

So hopefully I will get those maintenance runs and cardio exercises in during the week week as I have a lot of catching up to do. Not to worry though. We are still in the beginning stages of marathon training and have plenty of time to improve.

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