Monday, November 14, 2011

Los Angeles Marathon Training blog day 1: rest

Today is day 1. I’m probably going to be running the LA marathon in March 2012 and I’m on an 18 week training schedule based off of Hal Higdon’s novice 2 schedule with some adjustments to fit my lifestyle and schedule. In the grand scheme of things another guy running another marathon might not be much but according to me, this is the most important marathon in the world ever. Unless I don’t run it, in which case I won’t care about it aside from wishing my friends well in it and probably snarking about the traffic nightmare on St. Patrick’s dayafter – the course runs directly between me and my coffee bean. I’m not going to do anything amazing. I’m going to keep my head down and train and write about little things -- stupid drivers, cyclists and dog owners mostly – and then I’ll post an unofficial time and update it with an official time, and this experiment will be over.
I started running in November 2007. Before 2007 I had run but I was not a runner. I started in 2007 because my friend asked me to be a groomsman and I didn’t want to be a fat groomsman. I started at 1 mile, worked my way up to 4 and that was the top. I would run 4 miles 5 days a week and in the summer of 2008 I added in some swimming three days a week. I topped out at 4 miles because I smoked 8 packs of cigarettes a week and didn’t know shit about pacing myself. I’d go out hard and die in 4 miles. It was good.
I stopped that routine in the winter of 2008 when I got knocked out by an ulcerative colitis flare up. I have had ulcerative colitis since 2005. It is not a fun disease to have, especially if you have plans on running marathons. It is essentially an auto-immune disease that directly affects your colon, may affect your joints and most of all, your mood. Or my mood. When I get a UC flare I get depressed because I can hardly do anything and it hurts. This is not a UC blog. But UC flares are treated with prednisone which causes weight gain and by thanksgiving 2010 I had put 60lbs that I had lost since college back on thanks to the steroids and resulting depression and inactivity.
Thanksgiving 2010 I was talking with my girlfriend’s brother and he said I could definitely run a half marathon. That was good enough for me and the Monday after thanksgiving I was on the streets in West Los Angeles 4 nights a week running my ass off. During that training cycle my best friend mentioned the San Francisco marathon and I signed up for that. The bug, as they call it, dug its heels into me deeply. My knee hurt really bad. I bought some mega-supportive shoes. My knee hurt worse. Wasted money hurts my sensibilities incredibly but the support means weight making the shoes $135 ugly ankle-weights.
I started reading running blogs, articles, and magazines and talking about running. I started paying attention to things. I started watching people run. All I wanted was to be better. I read an article about foot strength. I went out and bought some barefoot shoes (Merrell Trail Gloves) which I loved. I started to run in them. They gave me the opportunity to fall in love with running all over again. I had to relearn how to do it, but every step is amazing and fluid and connected and natural. I read born to run on a business trip and was convinced and officially converted and here I am. I try and drag my girlfriend – a phenomenal athlete and competitor with me as many races as I can but she does not suffer from my addiction so she only runs races she considers to have impressive views / scenery or unique experiences which usually relegates her to be my one and only and amazing crew member, which I like.
As of today: my stats are as follows
Weight: 217.8 lbs
Body fat: 24.2%
Third category my scale measures: 52.7
5k: n/a
10k: n/a
½ marathon: 2:02:02
Marathon: 4:31:59

My goals are:
Weight: n/a
Body fat: 18%
Third category my scale measures: better? (I just want to know what this is, actually)
½ marathon: 1:50:00
Marathon: 3:55:00

Today is day 1. It is a rest day. I am resting. 

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