Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spectating at L.A. Rock 'n' Roll Half-Marathon

Since my calf had "popped", I decided to take about 10 days off from running. The New York City Marathon was just two weeks away. After consulting with my massage therapist, I was convinced that I hadn't torn anything. I would go to her as well as my PT, and plan for New York.

So on Sunday, October 30, I went off to another day of spectating - this time in Downtown L.A. I took the subway and settled around mile 8/mile 12 in a central downtown location. My friend and fellow Legger Liz had met up with her group at the start, and she joined me soon as well. It turned out to be quite a warm day. We were fully equipped with pretzels, cowbells, and oranges. There was a very big Legger turnout. Oh yeah, since it was the day before Halloween, there were a lot of costumes - I also think any costumed runner received a free beer at the end (party with Brett Michaels!). I spotted at least four Waldos in the crowd, and about that many Elvi. Adam and Eve were also in attendance with strategically placed fig leaves.

Overall I heard people liked this event, although the route was not the preferred old City of Angels Half. RnR gives you big medals and usually promises good headliners. All in all, we had fun, hope they did too!

Liz giving out oranges to a grateful Legger.

Here I am in a picture taken by Legger Jennifer Fah

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


So on Saturday, I made a very early running date - probably a little too early - 5:15 a.m. I was watching the Pearl Jam documentary on PBS the night before, and perhaps too excited from that, I missed my alarm at 4:00 a.m. I got up half an hour later, and by the time my running buddy and I connected, it was about 5:45 a.m. The point here is that I didn't stretch or warm up.

Even after we started, I requested we stop around mile 2 and stretch, but that didn't stop my calf muscle from rebelling. Around mile 4.3, I felt a sudden pain, and even heard an audible noise - like a mattress coil coming undone. I pulled over. True, I was pushing the pace a little, but I blame it on not warming up. We walked the 4.3 miles back. I was sad and worried the whole time. We stopped for ice, and with Adriana's help and the help of my headband and an extra plastic bag, secured a bag of ice to my calf. Now, nearly a week later, my recovery has progressed a lot with massage and PT, but working out (not running just yet) causes my calf to tense up.

And yet....nothing will stop me from participating in the New York Marathon! What would a running life be without injury? It would be fantasy. Now I remember a Runner's World article I read a while ago that featured an elite runner who trained himself - he warmed-up and cooled-down for 45 whole minutes each. If I can get a 15 minute warm up, I'll be happy.

Spectating at Rock n' Roll Los Angeles on Sunday.

See you there!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

12 miles with a new running buddy

I met Legger Adriana (first time meeting) around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday for a 13 miler. I had to be back at home base at 8:30, so I worked my way backwards and 5:30 was the earliest I could conceive starting, so that would yield about 13 miles.

We started a little late, but it was still dark outside, and continued to stay dark for about 45 minutes, when the sun came up. The weather was surprisingly un-chilly for an early morning in Santa Monica.

The first several miles went by soooo quickly - I need to run early in the dark more often. Somewhere between dreamland and reality, it all felt a little bit easier.

Adriana and I became fast friends - exchanging personal stories and sharing advice. On a long run, I have found that the mix of physical and emotional exertion results in opening up to another person. Adriana is a newbie Legger who has two marathons and 1 half under her belt (the Chips and Salsa Half-Marathon in Albuquerque - with - you guessed it - chips and salsa at the end).

We ended up running about 12.2 miles. Great run. Planning for 16-18 miles this Saturday for my longest run before NY in 3 weeks.

Happy running!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Running As a Spectator Event

On Sunday, a friend and I drove to Long Beach to watch the Long Beach Half and Full Marathon. I was prepared for a nice day of spectating, ans was fully prepared with camping chair, sandwiches, hand-made signs, and pretzels and Starbursts to hand out. The pink cowbell I purchased from the Run with Donna 26.2 website hasn't made it in the mail yet, otherwise I would have brought that too! That being said, all you really need to be a successful spectator is your presence, and your cheering voice.

We arrived at the Start Line around 6:30 a.m. I have never done this race before, and was glad to see how easy it was to park and get to the starting line. Liz and I only saw a few Leggers, so we hung out at the Start until the masses were released. We then walked about 1.5 miles to the vicinity of Mile 11 (half) and Mile 24 (full) to set up out chairs. I wanted to go a little further, but Liz thought we may get tired walking back afterward.

It was kind of funny how we had our chairs set up - all we needed was a cooler of beer and we could have been tailgating at a football game. Except we didn't have much time to tailgate since soon the lead half-marathoner came through. But we did wait about two hours for the marathoners.

I knew people in both the full and half events, and kept a watchful eye out for them. Along the way, I was happy to see Leggers whom I recognized. Here is a photo(taken by Legger Jennifer) of us spectating:

By the end of the day, all the pretzels and Starburts I brought were consumed. The day turned out to be rather hot, so the pretzels were pretty popular (necessary salt for long-distance runners). Liz even helped out with the water station at Mile 25.

Some interesting sights along the course:

A marathoner pushing a Pomeranian in a stroller - It's funny, I saw the dog at the beginning, and then again around mile 24-25. She seemed extremely happy.

A marathoner dressed as Superman, complete in tights over his running shorts.

A troupe of women dressed elaborately as witches in the bike race.

Sighting of Yolanda Holder, the keeper of the Guinness Record for most marathons completed by a woman in a single year.

Sadly, I didn't see my Pasadena Marathon friend Lan, or Legger Carol, but they did great. I was also very happy for Legger Michelle who made amazing time and cut her PR by over an hour.

Spectating is A LOT of fun. You get to support people who don't even know, most of whom are in a very good mood. I was looking at the route for the Los Angeles Rock n' Roll Half-Marathon to determine where I will spectate that day - the problem is that I'm unfamiliar with the area (all around downtown) and have to figure out the best place - Is it just me, or does the course look like it goes through South Central?

Happy running, and happy spectating!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

14 miles

The weekend's 14 miler went pretty well. The only thing - it's still dark at 6:30 a.m. I planned on wearing my prescription sunglasses the whole time (didn't wear contacts), so I had to bring my regular glasses and store the sunglasses somewhere in the back of my pants. During these long runs, I become a long-distance traveler and have to hide things all over the place. A baggie of pretzels, water, Gatorade - things tend to fall off.

I started with the 13:30 min/mile pace group running 2:1 intervals. I need to run on a pretty flat surface or my runner's knee flares up - so no uphills or downhills (however gradual). Our route was pretty good - I kept with the group for their entire 10 miles, then went on my own for 4.

Before the run, I took a couple of Aleve. I like Aleve but its use (Naproxen) isn't recommended during marathons because of its potential harmful effects on kidneys and salt retention. It's too bad since I prefer it to Tylenol, but I'll manage.

After a Leggers board meeting, I went to Ralphs and picked up a couple bags of ice for an ice bath. I have, surprisingly, gotten very good and staying in an ice bath. I can manage for about 10+ minutes. Reading material helps.

Happy training!