Sunday, January 10, 2016

Something Wickedly Long Comes This Way

This new year has not gotten off to the best start for me. To make a long story short, I arrived back in Los Angeles to find myself locked out of my apartment and later carjacked. Despite that, I did make it to Griffith Park for the annual Scott Boliver run where us Team to End AIDS runners honored our late marathon coach who left us way too soon. 

Having dealt with the worst New Year's Eve/Day ever, I came to that run winded as I had gone through a wealth of emotions a couple of days before, and an 8 mile run became a 4 and a half mile run a result. Coach Dene ended up driving me to the finish line as even she saw how exhausted I was. Still, I enjoyed a breakfast at Home Restaurant with my fellow marathon veterans even though I fell asleep a couple of times at the table.

However, I was in better shape for this week's 20 mile run, our longest yet in this training session. Granted, this past week had me doing only one maintenance run as one of my legs felt a little off, but I was not about to back off from it as a result.

Because of this run's length, we all met at Griffith Park at 6 AM instead of 7. The sun still had yet to rise in the sky so it was blacker than usual. It really helped to have a flashlight on your person as it was a little hard to make out faces right away.

Coach JC strongly reminded us to take it easy on this run, and that was advice I was eager to take heed of. When we started on this especially frigid January morning, I actually found myself not overdoing it and running slower than usual along with everyone else. We all knew this was not that run to burn out on earlier than later, and it felt good to keep up with my fellow pace group runners for a change. That is, for the majority of the run.

There was a point where I went to the bathroom as did others in my group, but they ended up not waiting for me which annoyed me to a certain extent. As a result, I spent the next few miles trying to catch up with everyone, and I eventually did at the stop where the Boliver family was on hand to give us all the peanut and pickle covered Ritz crackers we could ever hope to consume.

Throughout this training period we have done our best to outrun the heat, but this time we were trying to outrun the rain. El Nino has come down on California with a semi-vengeance and I say semi-vengeance because I'm convinced the weatherman will still say it's not enough. All the same, we did outrun the rain.

I was doing fine until I reached mile 17. That was the point where many of us hit "the wall." My will to run, even though I was only 3 miles from the finish line, was going south with the birds, and it was also being decreased by other runners who couldn't do more than walk at a lethargic pace (I couldn't blame them though).

But crossed the finish line I did with my fellow Team to End AIDS coaches JC, Kerry, Dene and Jennifer greeting me with high fives. To that, I could only reply, "Finally!" Even though I have done this marathon training several times before, running 20 miles still feels like quite the struggle.

A special thanks goes out to the Roadkill pace group for bringing us all the food and chocolate milk we could ever hope to find at the end of a run like this. I also have to thank them for not giving us actual roadkill to feast on, and that's even if it had more protein than what we ate.

Like I said, this 20 mile run was a struggle, and I guess I came into it thinking I would handle it better than others because I have been through this training before, but reality can work in truly mysterious ways.

While it would have been best for me to have an ice bath after conquering so many miles, I instead went to my apartment and collapsed on my bed where I slept for more hours than I usually do. Here's hoping I can fit even more cardio exercises into my schedule before Valentine's Day.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I have now raised over $848 towards AIDS Project Los Angeles which puts me at 77% towards my fundraising goal of $1,100. Seriously, even a $5 donation will go a long way in helping those afflicted by this unforgiving disease. Please message me to find out how you can help.

No comments:

Post a Comment