So now that we have conquered last week’s 23 mile run, we Team to End AIDS runners now have recovery runs to look forward to for the next two weeks before the marathon day. Today’s recovery run had us going 10 miles, and after last week’s seemingly endless run, this one truly felt like a piece of cake. Now you understand what marathoners mean when they tell you, “It’s only 10 miles.”
It was another cool morning in Griffith Park when I arrived there at 7 a.m., but I could already sense that things were going to heat up quickly. Coach Ashley came out and was intent to get our enthusiasm up no matter how early in the morning it was. She also took the time to go over what to expect at this year’s Los Angeles Marathon. Because of the horrific events which overtook last year’s Boston Marathon, security is tighter than ever before. They will only let us bring one bag with us when we arrive at Dodger Stadium on March 9th, and it’s a specific bag that we runners will pick up at the marathon expo.
I should also add that on the day before this recovery run, Team to End AIDS was featured on KTLA channel 5 which was reporting on the various training programs and charities that are participating in the LA Marathon. It was a huge kick to see Coach JC and many of the Team to End AIDS runners out there showing off for this wonderful program that serves to benefit AIDS Project Los Angeles, and KTLA ended up featuring a number of different segments throughout the morning with them and reporter Gayle Anderson. So when Coach JC yelled out “good morning T2” to us before today’s run, he couldn’t help but remark, “You have no idea how many times I had to yell that out yesterday!” Truth be told, it’s amazing he didn’t lose his voice in the process.
Today’s recovery run kept us inside Griffith Park, and many applauded the fact that, for once, we would not be running our usual route on Riverside Drive. At the same time, that didn’t mean that this would be a flat course, so we had to expect a little hill or two this time out. Whatever the case, I always look forward to coming here every Saturday morning to hang out with friends I don’t see enough of. What will I do with myself once this marathon is over?
One big topic of discussion many had before, during and after this run was where Bubba Eeyore was. For those who didn’t read my last article, I ended up bringing a jumbo-sized Eeyore with me on the 23 mile run, and many were wondering where he was. I kept telling everyone that he was still recovering from last week and that he was at home in my apartment taking yet another ice bath. Most people seemed to buy that, and it was cool to see that me bringing Bubba Eeyore along left such an indelible impression on my fellow runners. Those who missed last week’s run were stunned that I would dare to carry such a large stuffed animal for an incredibly long distance. Some will call what I did the previous week insane, and others will stand in admiration for what they must see as such an audacious act. Either way, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
It was actually nice to have a change of a pace this week where we weren’t running through Burbank and Glendale, and this route had a lot of advantages that we didn’t realize that it had in the past. No matter which part of Griffith Park we ran through, we were always greeted by a cool breeze that typically gets denied to us even in February. As usual, we made sure to keep an eye out for bicyclists coming our way, and they were polite for the most part. But there was one that came from behind us who kept saying, “On your left, on your left.” Some bicyclists act like they own the road, but I’m assuming this one knew that they have to share the road with us. Maybe I was wrong.
We all ran these ten miles like veterans and professionals, and even those who are about to run their first ever marathon treated it like it was no big deal. At this point, the only thing I really need to do is figure out if my New Balance really does have interval timing like the salesperson told my parents it did when they bought it for me. I really have not taken the time to figure out if it does, and it would be a good idea for me to do so before March 9th.
Upon crossing the finish line, we were greeted with our latest feast which included hard boiled eggs, glazed donuts, an assortment of fruit like clementines and grapes, bagels with cream cheese (I probably had one too many of those), and none of those delicious cupcakes that none of us could get enough of last week. Once again we were reminded of how everything ends up tasting delicious after a long run, and chocolate milk always manages to hit the spot.
Before any of us could leave to go home, the coaches kept begging us to take food with us because there was still plenty of it left over. I should have snagged some of the bananas but I lost the opportunity. Not to worry though, much of the food that’s left behind still gets donated to nearby shelters.
I felt really good after this run. I never once felt like I was struggling, and I got to have some fun conversations with my fellow “13: The Sequel” pace group members. Seriously, I think it bodes well for the marathon. After this we have one last training run before the big day, and I think I will be a little sad after that one. It’s going to be hard to get up on Saturday mornings and not have this training to go to. Also, the weather forecast says there is going to be rain, so we might actually have some winter-like weather before we run 26.2 miles on March 9th. Well, I’d rather deal with rain next Saturday than on marathon day. I don’t want to swim anymore marathons in my lifetime.
FUNDRAISING UPDATE: Although I have reached my fundraising goal, I still encourage you to make a donation to AIDS Project Los Angeles. It doesn’t matter how small the donation because it will still go a long way to helping those who can no longer take care of themselves.
PLEASE CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION.
A Man and His Eeyore Run 23 Miles
Week 19 of 2013 Los Angeles Marathon Training
Day 19 of 2012 LA Marathon Training