Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 14247, & the only thing longer than a marathon is this post...

So, I think it is safe to say that we all knew I was under trained for the Malibu Marathon.

It's not like I didn't have a plate full of excuses, beginning with excessively scorching heat this summer and ending with the termination of a key employee in the restaurant 3 weeks prior to the race. Throw in a couple of injuries along the way and I rest my case.

I have to admit that I briefly considered cancelling this trip, particularly after a few unnecessary google searches. After months of planning and mediocre training, along with the fact that I'm not one to pass up a plane trip, I decided to give it a shot, no matter how great the chance of death.

Well, since I am writing this, you can all rest easy. I didn't die. And, at no point did I really want to die, outside of a few moments where, in my mind, I thought death might be preferable to the embarrassment I thought was imminent.

To recap... I flew to LA last Friday, I turned 39 last Saturday, and what else? Oh yeah,

I completed my first full marathon last Sunday!

Notice I said I completed a marathon. I did not say, nor do I mean to imply that I ran 26.2 miles. What I did do though was make the most of the situation. After all, if you find yourself in the middle of a marathon course, with a race number, in a beautiful setting, at 8 in the morning? You might as well knock it out, right?

Jumping back, I should have known the cards were stacking up against me. I completed the Murfreesboro Half 5 weeks ago. Sure it was a PR and also a very nice negative split. It was also a positive sign that my knee issues were a thing of the past. I ran the 13.1 without any sign of injury. And then I stretched and tried to stand up...

Anyway, in an effort to distance myself from this recurring case if self-diagnosed runner's knee, I knocked out a couple weeks of much lighter training than I had intended. I had planned an 18 and a 20 miler after the half, but the knee decided that wasn't going to happen. So, I did a few 10s, a 12, and a whole lot of 6s...

I also tried to incorporate some cross training. Note: do not change your routine, however one dimensional, right before you are trying something new like a marathon. Bad.idea.

I am quite certain I strengthened my upper legs. Too bad there wasn't time for that to be of assistance. In fact, I would venture to guess that it threw off my form, leaving my legs with nothing other than: WTF do you want us to do???

Point of the story? I was not prepared.

I should have know this on Thursday of last week when the signs started appearing all around me.

I got a call on Thursday morning: "Hello, this is Delta Airlines calling to inform you that one of your flights has been cancelled on November 12th." Yes, that was fun. I ended up spending 2 hours of my day trying to rebuild an itinerary similar to the one that was completely blown apart at the last minute. Well, it was not so much blown apart; I'm just very particular about my flight choices. This is clearly the result of being spoiled by growing up in an airline family.

Next sign? My room at the LAX Hilton on Friday night was located on the 13th floor. Granted, I didn't even notice this omen until I checked out; still though, 13 is 13.

I probably didn't take notice of the 13th floor business because I was so excited about my room facing the runways at the airport. While most would probably find this annoying, I could sit and watch planes take off and land all day long. Yes, I am a dork. I admit it. So much so that I was even excited to get this shot of the new United/Continental paint job.

So, after a morning of coffee and plane watching, I headed off to the expo. I found my way to the PCH fairly easily and made good time to Zuma Beach in Malibu to pick up my packet.

For such a small race, 600 full marathon runners, everything at the expo took forever. I had to wait for my packet, I had to wait for my shirt (which I also had to pay for), and I had to wait to buy my parking ticket. I had not planned to drive to the beach the next morning, as I was staying by the start, but I had happened to inquire about buses from the finish. No buses, despite the website's promise of transport. There were only buses in the morning TO the start line. Oh.OK...

Standing in the middle of a very crowded parking lot, I had to quickly change my hotel plans for the night and find a place to stay that would be convenient to the bus pickup. Thank you, Mr Jobs and iPhone.

Still up to speed? Sign number 3...

From expo, I drove back through Malibu and Santa Monica to make my way to my newly booked destination of Agoura Hills (think Agrestic from Showtime's Weeds) I checked into the Hampton Inn, double checked my directions for the morning, and then began my google search for dinner.

Do you have any idea how depressing it is to eat dinner at the Macaroni Grill alone, on your birthday, at 4pm, at the bartender-less bar, in suburbia? Yes, that will be a memory I treasure always. 2 entrees later, I made it back to the hotel, stopping for water and OJ, along with a PowerAid for the run.

In bed by 7, asleep by 7:30. My plan to stay in the central time zone seemed to work out OK. Getting up at 3 wasn't that difficult. I woke up, had a Clif Bar and some OJ, made coffee, and applied sunscreen THREE TIMES. As I never got a sunburn, I assume this plan worked. Or, perhaps I sealed the sunscreen in after using Body Glide everywhere...

I was checked out of the hotel and on my way by 4:15. The only disappointment of the drive was that it was still pitch black outside and I couldn't see what was beyond all of the residential gates on Kanan Rd. I was probably one of the first 20 cars in the parking lot. I gathered up my gear, decided to leave my phone in the car, and made my way to finish some other business. Note to Zuma Beach management: if you are going to rake in $8 per car at 4am, please unlock the public restrooms. It is very difficult to use a port-a-john in the dead of night...

Stretching on the fence, waiting for the buses with everyone else, I noticed how amazing the sky was over the Pacific. Apparently, CA does have a lot of stars and I could have counted all of them in the time we all waited for the shuttles. Because they were parked up the street.

One might have thought that someone would have noticed no runners present for the bus ride to the race. Apparently not. Once we spotted them, we made our way up the road, loaded up, and my bus was the first to head off to the start line. Oddly, it was the last to arrive, as our driver got lost. Poor guy. I am quite sure that getting yelled at by 30 anxious runners is no way to begin your day.

Getting lost on the way to the race? That would be sign number 4...

On the upside, staying on the bus allowed a tiny nap, time for another Clif Bar, and a bit of heat. It was in the low 50s until sunrise, and I had left my sweater in the car. Spending over an hour at the start would have been a bit chilly. On arrival, I spent 20 minutes stretching and wandered about, listening in on everyone's conversations, found a water station. I felt rested. I felt confident. I felt ready.

The race was pretty small, as said, 600 registered for the full. After the start, which consisted of a lady yelling "GO!" I was off at a very conservative pace. My plan was to run with the 4:30 pace group, but there were no pace groups, despite having been told otherwise. Meh. I just tried to hold a steady 9:15-9:30 pace. That was tough and would catch myself falling below 9:00 quite a bit over the first few miles. By about mile 4, I had it down.

It was smooth sailing from there. The miles and miles of farmland. The sun rising over the California hills. All quite nice. As the scenery grew a bit tiresome, I knew I had the coastline to look forward to. As I ran those first 5 to seven miles, however, I began to notice some discrepancies with the elevation chart I had been studying all the months prior. I should have noticed a 2 mile uphill start, followed by a 2 mile gentle downhill. Nope. Never saw that. In fact, it just seemed as if I had been running up the natural, uphilly, flat that I am used to at the greenway. Hummm...

I would say it was somewhere around mile 7 that I first noticed it. It was a familiar sort of spasm in my right calf. Nothing painful. And It went right away. Didn't even hurt really, but I knew. I knew it was coming.

And, as expected, by mile 8, my knee was beginning to get stiff. Again, nothing too painful. Just enough to get me nervous. I started thinking about the fact that I was almost a third the way done. I started trying to imagine the pain, if it multiplied itself by three over the next 18 miles. No problem. After all, I didn't travel 3000 miles to quit a marathon.

This line of thinking should have been adequate. The only problem with it was that by mile 9 the pain was four times worse than it had been. Quickly realizing that I could be looking at pain 72 times as bad by the finish, I began to think through my exit strategy. What would I say if I quit? Who would I tell? Could I just tell Jay to contact everyone I know and explain that we would NEVER speak of the marathon again? Maybe I could just post "Knee pain. Quit." as my status update on Facebook.

Yes. One of these options will be my plan. So, I just had to find someone to quit to. Having never quit a race before, I had no idea what to do. Should I flag down a passing police car? Should I tell the water station volunteers? Either way, probably fine. Apparently, as I decided this at about mile 10, I was heading into an unmanned stretch of race, leading up to the half marathon start. I didn't see anyone to quit to. For miles...

Just keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running. It was like Ellen DeGeneres was on infinity loop in my head. Quite annoying, but I shuffled my way to the half. And then, along the way, my iPod caught my attention.

I never would have thought that Nine Inch Nails would prove to be an inspiring running selection. I had put it in my playlist at 5am on departure day, just feeling like I needed it. I opted out of the JC version, as it makes me sad. Thinking back, had I gone with Cash, I might have quit. But, as things were, I decided I was going to finish. I might be walking the next 13.1 miles, but I was getting that damned medal and my beach towel. And I wasn't going to quit and I wasn't going to worry about how to play that off. I was just going to walk.

The decision not to quit was huge for me. Aside from the fact that I am not generally a quitter, I am also not one to handle embarrassment with grace. I was relieved to avoid these two horrors. I was still a bit stressed though. I had told Brian and Stacey to be at the finish around 11, as I expected to run 4:00-4:30. I had no phone. I had no way to let them know I was going to be a tad bit late. I was freaking out, as I also don't tend to handle being perceived as an inconvenience.

Finally, after much race stalking, I happened upon a stranger with her phone out. I don't think I could have asked to borrow it any more nicely. I guess she was just taken back by my charm, or the fact that I was basically grabbing it out of her hand as I asked. Oh well. I said please. I sent Jay a text, from a stranger's phone, explaining that he needed to text another stranger that the race wasn't going well and I would be 5+ hours but that I would be finishing. I thanked the lady and I walked on. Jay apparently forgot it wasn't my phone that texted him. He told the lady he loved her...

Now that I had handled all of my obligations, I set out to enjoy myself. Being in the back half of the pack, I found myself enjoying the company of the other shufflers, as we passed one another repeatedly over the next few hours.

"We're going to finish. We getting a damned medal! That's right! A medal and a sunburn will be ours in a few short hours!"

"You know, this hill would really be pissing me off right now if I was running. Glad I don't have to do that!"

Yes, apparently I am quite the conversationalist when I have given up and thrown my arms in the air.

And, it was Malibu. It was ridiculously pretty. I saw whales, dolphins, surfer boys. Really? If you are going to walk the second half of a 26 miles race, you could pick a worse place to do it.

I tried to run the uphills. I tried to run the flats. I knew better than to try the downhills. I had no idea what to do fuel-wise on my walk. I just stayed with the plan. One GU every 7-8 miles. Water at every other stop. Stayed with the plan until I got bored again, that is.

I'd never tried a Lava Gel before. I had never tried coconut water while training (just before and after). I probably should have opted out of trying them at mile 20-22. Meh. Why not?

Well, I will tell you why not. Because something caused cramping. Because by mile 24, when I thought I could pull a sub 5:00 finish out of this comedy of errors, I was no longer hindered by my knee. It was my entire abdomen. I would try to run and then I would promptly feel like John Hurt in Alien.

I couldn't maintain a jog to save my life. Too.much.pain. The good news though? I was still sweating. Dehydration was certainly not going to take me out. No sir. Not me. Cause I'm the idiot who failed to realize that he was going to have to knock out a run to the finish line, regardless of what his knee felt about it.

I would venture to guess that the last mile of the course was the most painful 10 minutes of running I have ever experienced. And it was not for any of the reasons I would have expected. It wasn't the knee, it wasn't "the wall," it wasn't the fact that the 2.5 mile downhill finish that was advertised had a series of tiny uphills hidden in it.

It was painful because I felt the need to finish with a bit of dignity. I felt like I had to finish like I started.

I felt like I had to pass everyone that I saw for the next 10 minutes. And I certainly had to pass EVERYONE I saw in the chute.

And I did...

There was no clock at the finish. Well, I am sure there was, but I didn't see it. And, I forgot to stop Garmin as I crossed the finish (always forget that one!) I had no idea what my time was and I really didn't care!

I finished!

And again, I reiterate, I finished in one of the most picturesque settings in the world...

Now is probably just as good a time as ever. I'm running the GA Marathon on March 20, 2011. Key word, running...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day 14234, & this one's just for fun...

So, I will probably get another post or 2 in before I leave for L.A., but this was just too funny not to share...

We have been getting a crazy number of scam attempts at the restaurant lately, as has everyone else. Relay calls (for the deaf) are a particular favorite, but emails are still popular too. I have no idea who actually falls for these things, but I assume there is a success rate, however small.

I received this the other day, twice:


KELLY ANDERSON to jscott, nashville show details Oct 30 (3 days ago)



Not only did I receive this email twice at 2 different addresses, but there were 2 other restaurants copied into the address bar on each one.

I replied...


Dear Ms Anderson,

First, let me commend you on your mastery of the English language. Obviously, this achievement would explain your use of all capital letters, as you are so excited to thrill us with your prose. Kudos.

Second, might I suggest that you do not copy more than one restaurant into the address bar at a time. It really makes your request seem less than valid. After all, with three restaurants copied here, it would imply that you needed crab cakes for 450 guests. That's a really big party! You must be very popular. I would assume that you are combining your birthday celebration with some sort of book release, as I have already commented on the fact that you are a gifted writer. I wish I was that talented and popular.

The cost of your crab cakes, from me anyway, will be $8,750,000.95. Unfortunately, I will not be able to accept your credit card information over the internet. This is for your own safety. We wouldn't want some foreign scam artist to intercept your personal information and use it fraudulently, would we? I will be happy to accept a certified bank check. We still have a few weeks for your birthday, so feel free to drop that in the mail at your convenience.

Given your loyalty to our businesses, I would also like to send you a birthday gift. Feel free to give me a hint about the special something that you have had your eye on for awhile. In this poor economy, I know that you have probably just been sitting on all your free cash, like the rest of us. Let me help you brighten your day. Just send me your home address and I will get that present right to you. If you can't think of anything, I am sure I can think of quite a few special things that you deserve.

Thanks again! Look forward to hearing from you!


p.s. FUCK OFF!


So, there you have it. It is always important to hold onto your sense of humor...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day 14223, & looks like chondromalacia of the patella...

So, I know that I was going to blog all about my marathon training.

Which road was rumored to be paved with good intentions?

Well, summer sucked. I don't do heat. Mentally, I hate heat. Physically, it would seem that my body isn't too fond of 90 degrees, either.

Then there was work. The never ending battle to be in control of my life has been a rough one, most recently plagued with some managerial drama that threatens my schedule every day. People often tell me how lucky I am to own my own business and dictate my own schedule. Ha ha! Mine is a schedule dictated by the whims of others, never by me...

And, let us not forget my new found activism. I just can't imagine where all the time goes. At least I don't have children.

Excuses, excuses...

Well, not really. A million things have gotten in the way of training. When does life ever go the way you plan it? Rarely, at best. We just have to trudge through the shit and move forward. I think I have done a pretty good job of that recently. I even ran my second half marathon last week, shaving 20 minutes of my previous time. It was a good race, despite my resolve to run it, as opposed to racing it. Sub 2 hours, check. Sub 9 minute miles, check? And I accomplished this while recovering from injury, again. A week of rest and my legs were good as new. The entire run felt great and it felt easy. Immediately, post run, however...

I did it though. I ran a strong run with a negative split. I finished ahead of the middle of the pack and I did it without really pushing too hard. While I stretched after, I tried to envision myself running the entire course again. Would I have the strength? How miserable would that feel? Seemed like something I could do, particularly if the reward was a breathtaking view of the California coastline and the promise of 26.1 beers with friends. Yeah, I can do it. Maybe not sub 4:00, but certainly sub 4:30.

And then, post stretching, I tried to stand up and walk.

So, yeah, I think I have runner's knee.

It started a several weeks ago in my left knee, but it went away pretty quickly. Two weeks ago, it returned in my right knee and seems to be settling in for a long, unwelcome stay.

I know what you're saying. Where did you study medicine? I answer with a simple: at the Google. You might also be saying, if you are one of those people, that it is only a matter of time and I am bound to screw my knees up with all the running. Well, maybe so, but I can't imagine a more serious issue would jump from one knee to the other. Additionally, I am guilty of all of the infractions listed as causes. And the symptoms? Dead on...

Meanwhile, I have 22 days until the marathon, my first. I am not going to miss it. The plane ride alone is worth the trip. I don't expect any possible circumstance beyond this coincidental equipment repositioning that will get me on Delta's 777LR. After all, Dubai is not on my itinerary. I need to run to justify my training, but I also need to justify the trip.

What to do... Three weeks. Let's see. Well, 7-10 days of that will be spent on the taper, leaving 12-15 days to train. Yesterday's planned 10 miles ended at an abrupt 8 because of the knee, resulting in a 2.5 mile walk home. The solution seems quite clear, and quite unappealing.

Elliptical machine.


Looks like I will be going to the gym and spending countless boring hours on the sleep inducing, life sucking, elliptical trainer.

What doesn't kill me makes me stronger?

Hope so...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Day 14125, & I got my groove back, then promptly misplaced it...

So, I have been an independent restaurateur for almost 7 years now. Crazy, I know...

10 years ago, I would have told you that I was going to have several restaurants by 2010. 15 years ago, I was going to go to law school and leave the restaurant business behind.

I bailed on the law school thing for three reasons. First, I don't really do well with logic problems of the LSAT variety. I am an excellent standardized test-taker. Those problems though? They suck me in and I loose time when I start to obsess over a question. Second, I quickly realized that I was romanticizing the back-to-school experience. Law school was not going to be the financial walk in the park that undergrad was. After all, I don't think dad was really going to help me out by paying the mortgage and giving me a monthly allowance so that I could study more effectively by removing work from the equation. And, despite many a hint from me, he never offered up tuition money either.

Mainly though, I knew too many people that had gone to law school. And those people? Not practicing law. Hummm... What does that tell me? Well, at the time, it told me that practicing law isn't all that it is cracked up to be. And really, who wants to work 75 hours a week for a sizable paycheck that you can't spend because you never take a vacation or have time to do anything with your money?

So, I stayed in the restaurant business, where I worked 75 hours a week for 30-40K annually. Wait a minute...

The first few years of our first restaurant went so well that we knew we had to do it again. That process ended up taking quite a bit of time and result in restaurant 2 opening in worst economy of my memory. Clearly, if you've read my rants here, you know my life has been a struggle ever since.

Things turned around though at the beginning of this year. We started to see an upswing. It wasn't like we were taking home buckets of cash or anything; but, we did get to start taking paychecks again. The feedback got better and the renewed sense of optimism really created an entirely different atmosphere at #2.

Cue flood and summer....

Now we are back in the bad place again. It is hard to have a positive outlook when you bust your ass for nothing. At least, it seems like nothing. And while Jay and I take turns on the let's-just-give-up front, we seem to have reached the conclusion that we are both not allowed to stand on the cliff at the same time. Inspiring teamwork, if you ask me.

Now, faced with financial and staffing challenges, we are forced to focus, to re-think, to evaluate. I no longer think I am going to own five restaurants. I don't always want to own the two I've got. Sometimes quitting just seems easier. It's only money, right? It's just that the idea of risking everything again to open another is way too scary. Way too crazy...

Over the last few weeks of training, I have found myself feeling the same way about running. I struggle and push up my mileage. I see results. I panic at the idea of injury. I blame heat and humidity for failed runs. But the quitting? Not my fault. The failure is not mine to own. Maybe I should have stuck with the law thing because nothing is ever my fault...

From the time I was a kid, I never thought I would be a runner, or any kind of athlete, for that matter. Even when I started running, almost two and a half years ago, I said that I could not ever imagine running a marathon. Why would anyone want to do that to their body? Why would anyone want to run for that much time? But, your outlook changes over time.

Last week was rough. I have all but discarded my original training plan. The time suck that is work seems to prevent any real plan from materializing. I just squeeze workouts in where I can. I seek motivation wherever I can. I just trudge along.

And every now and then, I find a glimmer of hope in a run. A strong 10 miler. A dreadmill recovery run that ends up turning into a 6 mile interval run. Even a cross training day that can be classified as nothing but the most boring, mindless, waste of time ever to exist can prove to be fulfilling, if for no reason other than the fact that I can say I did it.

I have learned that I run because I love it, despite the obstacles. It makes me happy. I will do whatever it takes to become stronger, faster. No matter how unpleasant, I will be glad that I did it when I come out the other side.

As Jay and I sat down yesterday to discuss all of our work related nightmares, I remembered why I am in this business. The problem solving makes me happy. The results are rewarding. I love what I do. Because my job? Being nice to people. Problem solving. That's a pretty easy job if you think about it.

Now is just another time to focus and make it through to the other side a little stronger.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 14116, & hit a bump in the road...

So, literally, I hit a bump in the road. Well, no, not literally. Actually, I was hit on the road by a car when it bumped into me while I was running. True story. But I'll get to that in a minute.

Do you want to know the hardest thing about marathon training? Time management. That is pretty much the do or die skill set needed to successfully train for a marathon. Now, I am sure we can all come up with a list of people who have very poor time management skills and have successfully completed such an undertaking. Those people though? Obviously, they possess an extraordinary skill or two that allowed them to squeak by without managing their time.


Time management master. I can handle everything I take on. Why set your self up for failure, I say. If you can't be certain you will succeed, then you probably shouldn't be trying it in the first place. You'll only embarrass yourself...

And then, some dickhead comes up and throws a wrench into your carefully mapped out time management plan and fucks up your whole delicately balanced life.

Yeah, you guessed it. Someone quit their job a few weeks back. Restaurant 2 lost a line cook and now everything has been turned upside down to compensate. So, restaurant 1 sends a kitchen manager to cover the line at #2, leaving #1 weak. So, #1 reschedules Chef to be around more in the evening, leaving me to cover the morning.

Why does this matter, you ask?

We all know that I cannot run in the afternoon, post work. Too hot!

How in the world am I supposed to get up at 4:30 am, wake up my legs and brain, run, get back home, stop sweating (which can take up to 45 minutes), get ready for work, and be there by 7:30? Well, it's actually not that hard, as long as I am not trying to fit an 8-10 mile run in there.

But, now throw in the fact that I might have been at work until 9 the night before. And that I cannot just rush home, jump in bed, and immediately experience quality rem sleep.

See my problem? How in the world am I supposed to be able to drink beer and still train for a marathon if all these dumbfucks keep screwing up my plans???

And remember- this is important- I started running so that I didn't have to cut back on the beer drinking. Voila! Full circle...

I am such the master storyteller...

Anyhoo, last week was ok. I made it work. And, then there was the "cold" front that came through. That always helps.

Sunday was a nice 4.ish something (I forgot to write it down)
Monday was the off day, as I had seen the forecast for the rest of the week
Tuesday, 6.25 miles
Wednesday, 1.7 miles of early morning garbage. My legs felt like overcooked pasta
Thursday, as if it was sent from heaven, was a perfect 10.4 miles, at 9 am, in the 70s, low humidity, with an average pace of 9:21, and a negative split.

And that is when I got hit by the car. Running by Vanderbilt, with the walk signal, I was reminded of how few people look to their right when turning right on red. Instinct took over fast and I jumped, thereby preventing the car from actually hitting me. Basically, I jumped onto the hood. Damn, those people looked scared as I ran off. It really was a hit n run...

Friday, I ran a quick 5.0 and it felt good after the long run that preceded it.

Friday night I decided to run the 4th of July 10K, my first race in two years. Note to self: DO NOT COMMIT TO RUNNING RACES WHILE DRINKING!

Saturday, knowing I had the race that I was completely unprepared and unrested for, still wanting my goal mileage for the week (which ends on Saturdays,) I ran a slow 3.75.

So, the weekly total was a little light at 31.5-ish but not bad.

And then the race...

I had to close the restaurant Saturday night so I didn't get out until 10. Got home, ate brown rice for dinner, and made it to bed by 11. Up at 4:30 for the 7:00 start.

I still wasn't overly concerned. 6.2 miles? Easy. Especially with my plan to run the first half comfortably and then barrel through round 2 (double loop.)

I won't go into the specifics of the poorly organized race. I had run this series before and it was far better then. I'll just say that I picked up my packet (which took almost 30 minutes,) rushed to stretch and warm up (which I hate doing that way,) and then waited for the race to start for way too long (7:20!)

Mile 1, 7:44
Mile 2, 8:08
Mile 3, 8:04
Mile 4, 8:56
Mile 5, 9:05
Mile 6, 8:55

See? I ran it just as I had planned! Only backwards...

I have never run a 5K, so at least I PR'd that one. According to Garmin, I was 24 and change for the 5K half, which put me 30 something-th. And, I did consider quitting then, but I barreled forward. I was glad to have finished, but it was miserable. I was not ready. I had overdone the mileage for a race week. Blah blah blah.

But, on the other hand, I PR'd it, however slightly.

Age: 12/23
Sex: 74/171
OA: 115/344

128 days to marathon. Have I mentioned, I have lost 15 pounds in the last 2 months? And that I need to go purchase some 31s...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 14102, & it is another scorcher...

So, it's freaking hot!

I hate summer in the South. There's no getting around it. OK, well, I didn't hate the last 2 summers so much. This one though? It just started and its been nearly 100 for the last four days. And, I probably would have hated the last couple of summers, too, had I been running much back then.

I picked the wrong week to start marathon training (and to quit sniffing glue.)

Anyway, I have 143 days to get ready for the Malibu Marathon. 20 weeks. Most of these weeks? Summertime weeks. Awesome...

Last week was a training FAIL. I started strong but I lost steam after sleeping past 6 one morning and missing the window of tolerable opportunity. I know, I sound like a wimp. Whatever! I can tolerate heat, some humidity, and glaring sun. I just don't like to have to tolerate all three at the same time. It's a lot like tolerating Reid, Pelosi, and Obama at the same time. Impossible! But if we just had to put up with two of them, I could probably deal. Anyway, mornings allow me to at least avoid the sun.

Yeah, so I overslept. I missed it and when I let the dog out it felt like I was opening an oven. Correction: it felt like a giant jacuzzi was emptying out all over me. Hot and wet. Gross...

What to do? Well, I did what anyone would. I joined the gym. The Y to be exact. And let me tell you, that shit ain't cheap. Quite a price to pay for a little shut eye. Sigh...

I needed to do it anyway. I need cross training options and now I have them. I haven't been in a gym in 2 years. I haven't been on a treadmill in over 2. But elliptical machines? Bikes? Yoga classes? Yeah, I need them; though, I have to say I really haven't missed the treadmill or the gym. Oh well...

I am now in need of a revised training plan. I'm thinking of going with an every other day run/gym routine, but it won't give me the miles I want. Oh, speaking of miles, I found someone doing the Hanson Brothers' Plan. A motivating read, and someone else gets to be the guinea pig...

That pretty much sums up a dull start to training.

Week one: 25.15 miles, five days
Week two: 26.12 miles, six days
Week three: 29.24 miles, six days
Week four: 19.83 miles, three days Boo!

This week, so far, I've gotten in 8.something miles and a really strong gym day today that included bike, elliptical, stairclimber, along with calf, glute, hamstring, and quad weights.

Tomorrow, I think I might be sore...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 14084, & I might have something to say...

So, It has been a really long time since I posted anything to this blog. As I have mentioned before, it seems that many blogs have been neglected over the last year or two. And while I am sure that we could do a psychological study on the effects of recession on one's creative endeavors, I'm just glad to know it's not just me...

Meanwhile, I have news.

I registered for my first full marathon. I will be running the Malibu International Marathon on November 14th, 2010. Yes, the day after my 39th birthday, I will be running this:

Now, I know what you might be thinking. Those hills look rough, especially after you've just run 20 miles. That would be the glass half empty attitude that I have been trying to break myself from. I am actually looking at this elevation chart and thinking that there is a little downhill reward after each of those inclines, not to mention a really long 2.2 miles downhill finish. See? Me? Half full...

I have to admit, I picked this marathon for a silly reason or two. First, it is in California. Good excuse to go west. Second, California, and LA specifically, will require a nice plane ride. Remember, I do love a nice long airplane flight. So, I redeemed A SHITLOAD of Delta miles for this:

This equipment is only used domestically on a few transcontinental flights. Since I don't see myself flying to Asia any time soon, I figured I'd take advantage of the opportunity. Plus, since Jay typically hates to fly, this provided him a bit more incentive to accompany me. After all, imagine what people would say about him if he didn't bother to cheer me on, witness my first marathon finish, or be there to collect my remains? Whatever the case, he's going...

On to the real reasons for this choice.

First, it is the day after my birthday. Ideally, it would have been the day before, but the marathon planners did not consult me. I would have preferred to complete a marathon at age 38 versus 39. Oh well. Plus, as I was born in Southern California, it only seems appropriate that I visit again for such an achievement. That way, if I die during the run, you all will be able to romanticize the story for all of your friends. I'm kind of selfless like that.

Secondly, there is the elevation chart. It is intriguing to me. The rise is nearly 200 feet and the hills are miles long. I don't even know what to think of that jagged, razor-like middle 10 miles. At the end of the day though, who doesn't want a 2 mile downhill finish, complete with airplane arms and all?

Most importantly, I picked it because I have plenty of time to train. I started with 6 months of time. I still have 161 days. I can allow for very gradual mileage increases, occasional cutbacks, and even a possible minor injury or two. What I have learned in the last two and a half years of running is that no matter how much I love the long run, it always hurts me. Too much, too soon. Apparently, the Hanson Brothers have discussed it extensively. Based on every injury I've had, It would appear that they are correct. No run should be more than 30% of my total weekly mileage. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So, yeah, I am back at this blogging thing, for a bit anyway. Up until now, I have consistently used the "no time" excuse to justify my neglect. I have often used that same excuse to skip a run.

No more time for excuses...