Day Ten of 2012 Los Angeles Marathon Training

Documenting my tenth official day of training for the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon. This day has me back in Los Angeles and training with Team To End AIDS. We celebrated New Year’s Eve a few hours early by running ten miles.

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So Christmas is over, and I’m back at Griffith Park to train with Team To End AIDS for the last day of 2011. While everyone else says they will miss 2011, I’m looking forward to it being over. It definitely had its moments, but my life still feels at a standstill. All the same, training for the 2012 Los Angeles Marathon was one of the smartest moves I made as it forces me to endure vigorous exercises that will help me lose weight, and it allowed me to meet a lot of cool people I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

The Happy New Year decorations were out for us, so our celebration started early; guess I’m not the only one who wants this year to be over. Today had us running 10 miles which was to prepare us for our first run of 2012 of 14 miles. While this was not the farthest we have run to date, it somehow felt like the toughest.

The day started off incredibly cold, and we were all bundled up in sweaters and such. Others were brave to wear just shorts and a t-shirt; where do they get the balls. However, not long after we started, the weather got warm surprisingly quickly and turned into one of the most beautiful days of running we’ve had so far. We got a great tour of houses in Glendale and became convinced that we had to live there at some point.

With all of us (let alone the Twisted Blisters pace group) coming out of the holidays, it became clear that collectively we have fallen behind on our maintenance runs. As for myself, I only worked on catching up on the 8 miles I needed to run last Saturday. The maintenance runs however eluded me, so I have to make up for that next week. With this run on December 31, 2011, we all realized we had a lot of catching up to do.

In terms of hills, we again got that deceptive one which led us into Glendale. It still doesn’t look like we’re going up a hill, but it certainly feels like one once we became aware of it. We got winded very quickly (myself included), and we began wondering if we missed a turn on the course. Fortunately we didn’t, but this run was starting to feel never ending for us.

When it came to running downhill, we remained conscious about controlling our pace where we weren’t racing down the hill and damaging our bodies. I kept reminding myself constantly not to land on the heels of my feet as I am convinced I will end up doing so without even knowing it. Our pace group at that point got split up as some runners felt the necessity to slow down a lot. Some exercised the day before which in retrospect was not a good idea, and they ended up walking the last half. They did make it across the finish line though.

Upon making it down the hill, we came back to that snack that I missed while out of town: Ritz crackers covered with peanut butter and pickles. I ended up hogging these more than anyone realizes, and we can never get enough of them. I also took a much needed bathroom break because… OK, you don’t really need to know why.

At the finish line, we were greeted to a feast of food which included bagels with cream cheese, bagels with peanut butter, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (or tiny squares of one), hard boiled eggs, and yogurt covered pretzels among other things. We also got cups of Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Juice to celebrate the New Year which was now a few hours away. I guess having champagne after a long run is not a very good idea (we did have to drive home after all).

We all collectively agreed that this run was “brutal.” It wasn’t the farthest we’ve run, but we came out of it feeling harshly punished. And this was a course that didn’t have those two hills from the week before last. That run should have felt worse than this one, but we were just coming out of the Christmas holiday where we celebrated more than ran.

Next week will have us running 14 miles, our farthest run yet. One of our coaches previously told us that if we fall behind on our training, it will feel like starting from scratch. As brutal as today’s run was, it served as a reminder of this and what we need to do during the week.

I got home and crashed on the bed for a couple of hours. Before training for this, I never could get myself to take a nap anywhere, even at work.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I’m still below $500, and the deadline for me to raise $1000 is on January 20th. Please make a tax deductible donation when you can, and you can start sticking it to the man early in 2012.

Days of 2012 LA Marathon Training:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 9.5

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