Before I start, I just want to salute the Team To End AIDS runners who are running the Honolulu Marathon on December 10th, 2011. They are definitely experiencing better weather than us, and I hope they are enjoying themselves and came out of this one largely unscathed.
I was all set the night before; had 2 plates of whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce from Trader Joe’s, filled my 4 tiny water bottles and put them in the fridge, laid out my energy/protein bars (1 to eat before the run and the other during it) in the kitchen, and I practically OD’d on grape flavored Gatorade. After all that, I went to bed way too late and woke up much earlier than I wanted to (around 4 am) and soon went back to sleep. Upon waking up, I noticed it was brighter than I expected it to be. Then I found out why; my watch said 7:42 am. Our training runs begin at 7 am in the morning.
This honestly isn’t the first time I’ve been late to training, but it was pointless to even make the drive to Griffith Park in order to catch up with everyone. By the time I would have arrived, I would have at best run a mere 2 miles out of 6.. I was too tired to get pissed at myself for oversleeping, so I just slept some more.
Later that morning I got my act together and went to the 24 Hour Fitness gym located next to Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood to run my 6 miles on a treadmill. While running in place may seem boring and somewhat counterproductive, I wanted to make absolutely sure I ran my 6 miles. Running on my own down the Los Angeles streets was bound to be full of distractions as yard sales were sprouting up everywhere, and some deals are too good to resist.
I should take some time to explain something about our training: this week’s 6 mile run is a recovery run from the 10 miles of pavement we pounded last week. December 3rd marked the first time we went double digits in miles, but our schedule has us going up and down in mileage because we can’t overdo it because we could overexert our bodies long before March of 2012.
The gym was more crowded than I expected it which had me worrying I wouldn’t get to spend the time I needed to run my 6 miles. You know how gyms everywhere have that policy of its members using cardio equipment for only 30 minutes if other people are waiting, but there was no way I was going to run all those miles in half an hour. I’m not Kenyan for crying out loud!
I ran on a Precor treadmill this time which had a basic digital display that was not overly animated like the one I ran on in Gualala. There were no odd looking computerized faces staring back at me as if I’m not all that attractive or questioning if I knew what I’m doing. As a result, I wasn’t worried about some HAL 9000 voice questioning me.
“Have a nice run, Dave…”
If there’s one thing to keep in mind while running on a treadmill, leaning forward happens more often than you might think. It kept feeling like I was doing just that, and I became more conscious of my form than ever. I kept on picturing a steel rod running through my back in order to keep myself straight. That works for the most part, but there were a lot of times where it still felt like I was making that same mistake. Perhaps the Wii Fit game I should be playing on a more regular basis is correct in pointing out that inescapable fact that I am still far off from obtaining perfect balance.
From where I was running, I could see the back of the Cinerama Dome which looks to be holding up well after so many years. As I write this, it is showing the new version of “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” starring Gary Oldman. You can bet I’ll be watching that soon to see how Oldman measures up to Sir Alec Guinness’ performance from the miniseries which I’m sure the later actor prefers people to remember him for more than “Star Wars.”
Also in the distance I saw a poster on a high rise building for the sequel to “Sherlock Holmes.” This is one of many reminders that I still haven’t watched the original directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Robert Downey Jr. Hey, I’ll get around to it soon!
The treadmill I ran on only gave me an hour total to workout. When I finished, I had done just over 4 miles. This is with the interval training time of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking. When finished, I walked around a bit to give myself a break before I went back on. I then ran another 30 minutes or so for the 2 miles I needed to complete the 6 I needed to endure. Let it be known that I do take my training seriously.
Still, it would have been nice to run with my pace group Twister Blisters today as I don’t get out much during the week (I’m still unemployed). It was a good recovery run which had me going at a pace of 13:20 minutes while running (my pace while walking varied more than it probably should have). The Twisted Blisters goal per mile is 13 minutes and 30 seconds, but I didn’t overexert myself by going over it by 10 seconds.
One thing which truly sucked up about running on a treadmill at the 24 Hour Fitness in Hollywood was paying for parking. I end up shelling out $6 dollars which initially surprised me. They let you park there for 2 hours for $3 dollars, but each half hour after that is another $3 dollars. I guess that’s my punishment for oversleeping today, but I won’t make that same mistake next week.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: I have now raised $370 towards my fundraising goal of $1,000. This puts me at 37% to goal. If you can only donate between $1 and $5 dollars, believe me when I say that will still go a long way to benefiting AIDS Project Los Angeles. And with the end of the year coming, your chance at making a tax deductible donation is fading quickly. Please click here to make a donation to my efforts.
Days of 2012 LA Marathon Training:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, and 6