We’ve been running 5 miles these past few weeks, but this week we Team to End AIDS runners headed into new territory – we ran 6 miles. That extra mile is not a huge jump, but it’s worth noting because we are still dealing with the scorching summer weather which wreaked havoc on us Los Angelinos far more than usual. Yes, fall has arrived, but you wouldn’t know it from this weather. Summer always extends its stay in Southern California, sometimes all the way into November, and many of us have had more than enough of the heat (not that Mother Nature gives a shit).
I didn’t get much sleep the night before as I went to The Forum in Inglewood to see Don Henley in concert. A K-Earth 101 employee was kind enough to give me a couple of complimentary tickets to the concert, and I went with the hope that he would perform “Dirty Laundry” live as it is one of the most timeless songs ever composed, and he did. He also dedicated a song to Donald Trump entitled “Too Much Pride” and then followed it up with what he called the sequel to that song, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” I was about to exit the concert early as I wanted to escape The Forum parking lot in less than an hour, but I couldn’t resist Henley performing one of my favorite songs of his, “All She Wants to Do is Dance.” That’s a seriously bitchin’ song even after all these years.
Despite me not getting a full eight hours of sleep, assuming such a thing is possible in this day and age, I managed to drag myself to Griffith Park in time for Coach JC’s opening lecture. This also marked the first time in this year’s training where we did warm up stretches. There’s always this ongoing debate about whether or not we should do stretches before a run. One school of thought is that stretching before a run may result in us pulling a muscle or two which would be quite painful to put it mildly, and the other school says that it is imperative that we do stretch before a run because our bodies will hates us later in life if we don’t. Whatever school of thought you belong to, the one thing we all agree on is that we do need to stretch after our run. To not do so would be, as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say, a “big mistake.”
I got off to a good start, but I once again found myself trailing the rest of my pace group which frustrated me. I kept saying to myself that I’m faster than this. Perhaps this is my legs way of saying that they refuse to go any wider for me. My knees have all but given up trying to reason with me, so now both my legs as a whole have essentially told me to go fuck myself. They want me to jog more than run, and I’m hoping I can convince them to do the opposite in the future.
Well, despite the ridiculous heat that still follows us into the holiday season, I did make it across the finish line even though I lagged behind my fellow runners by quite a distance. For the record, I did do my maintenance runs during the week, but now I feel like I need to do more cardio exercises in addition to those runs. I want to come out of these T2EA runs feeling like a god… Okay, that’s obviously exaggerating a little. I just want to come out of them feeling like I accomplished something truly fulfilling. This is not to say that I didn’t this particular morning, but I came out of it feeling like I could have done better. Then again, I have a reputation for being too hard on myself.
Next week we will be running 8 miles, so I better be sure to bring my A game to it. Regardless of my misgivings over this run, I still believe that I have nowhere to go from here but up.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I have now raised$480, and that puts me at 44% towards my fundraising goal of $1,100. All themoney goes towards AIDS Project Los Angeles which has done an incredible job of assisting those afflicted with this terrible disease, and your donation will be tax-deductible which will give you the great satisfaction of sticking it to the man. Click here to learn how you can make a donation.