Day Four of 2012 Los Angeles Marathon Training
An article on my fourth day training with Team To End AIDS for the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon. This took place on November 19, 2011.
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This week I not only got to the training site at Griffith Park, I got there early. How about that? Of course it did have to do with me waking up much earlier than I wanted to (4 am to be exact), but sleep can sometimes be challenging even if you don’t have kids. It certainly was nice to warm up with everybody for a change, and we have a lot more people than last year as bumping into others while swinging our arms backwards and forwards and hitting the person next to us was much easier than it should have been.
Today’s run was 6 miles and took us around Burbank and part of Glendale. This had us either running on the street or on to the concrete sidewalks. Many I know HATE running on concrete as it’s tougher and more damaging on our bodies. I’m not against to running on concrete, but I see what they mean. Still, it was at times preferable to the streets which had cars of all kinds threatening to run us over. We are encouraged to run against traffic so that drivers can see us more easily. But with cars parked on the curbs and us having to go around them, it feels like we are running in the middle of the road and just asking to be run over. Our mentors and coaches drove by us from time to time honking their horns to show their support, or was it some guy on his way to work on Saturday who hated having to slow down for us. Hey, it’s all for a good cause!
We were also told that we would not be running up any hills this week. This pleased everyone, but I was a little disappointed as I yearn for a good challenge at times. We’re going to be running up and down hills during the LA Marathon, so why wait? Maybe I’m just a glutton for punishment.
Once again we were doing interval training where we ran for 3 minutes and then walked for 1. I soon became reminded of how we all sound sounded like Bonnie Hunt as she leads a White House tour in the Ivan Reitman movie “Dave”:
“We’re walking, we’re walking.”
It was also the first day we had a big water/snack booth on our run which allowed us to indulge in the runner’s favorite marathon training snack: peanut butter and pickles on top of Ritz crackers! For those of you who find the mere description of this utterly disgusting, you have never tried them! They’re delicious and addictive, and they give us runners a good amount of salt we need to absorb water. You become serious about eating many of them that you begin feeling like you’re hoarding them from others. But the volunteers helping us out with this, water, Gatorade, and peanut butter filled pretzels (yummy) are serious about taking as many as we want and not letting the supplies go to waste.
The only problem with this stop is that we stood still when we needed to keep our bodies moving. One of our most enthusiastically dedicated coaches was by and politely reminded us of this, so we start moving our feet and legs around to keep them warm. I personally started to sashay like I was Axl Rose singing “Paradise City” or “Sweet Child ‘O Mine” (take your pick). Nobody noticed me though which may have been a good thing.
By the time we made it back to Griffith Park, our pace group (which finally settled on the name “Twisted Blisters”) all agreed we started off much too fast. Ironically, we were slower than usual although much of that was due to the water/snack stop and emergency bathroom breaks (I’ll let that image mess with your minds without saying more). Next week will be an 8 mile run, but I will be out of town for Thanksgiving. One of the coaches said to me:
“You’ll do your 8 miles while you’re away, right?”
To this I said:
“You’ll try?!” the coach incredulously and with a warm hearted laugh.
Granted, that was a foolish response on my part. Where I’m going is not a bad place to run, but it will be raining like crazy I’m guessing. I can always go to the nearby gym and run on the treadmill which will be boring but just as effective.
Meanwhile, we still spent our cool down period reflecting on the horrors of the 2011 Los Angeles Marathon which had us regretting throwing our raincoats and ponchos to the wind only 8 miles into the run. It turned out we needed them with the rain coming down on us hard. Our clothes came out of it weighing 13 pounds because they were soaked through. Heck, even those who kept their raincoats or ponchos got soaked anyway. Many runners got a bad bout of hypothermia from a race where many were expected to suffer from heat stroke (I don’t recall the sun coming out at all).
Then there was that 23 mile training run about a year ago which had us running through Burbank when it started to hail and later snow on us with no sympathy. Our clothes got frost on them and later steam starting coming off them which took us all for a loop. By the end of that run, the winds were picking us relentlessly and the rain was coming down and soaking all the dry clothes we brought along to change into. At the end of that one, one coach told us all:
“It can’t get any worse than this!”
He has been kicking himself for saying that ever since.
The events of those two days will certainly be hovering over us throughout this training as we hope and pray that we get to run the LA Marathon instead of having to swim like we did last March. Weather gods be kind to us, please!
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I have now raised $270 towards my goal of $1,000. I encourage all my readers to make a donation (tax deductible of course) to my efforts as it supports AIDS Project Los Angeles. Even if it’s $1 to $5 dollars, it will go a long way to helping those who can no longer help themselves. Click here to visit my personal page.