Monday, November 27, 2006

Warning: This post discusses bodily functions!!!

Distance: 10 miles
Time: approx. 1:41

It has been a rough week for running--actually, I haven't run much this week. Out of laziness and a bloated post-Saturday dinner feeling, I skipped running the 5K at Puente Hills. I attended but stood on the sidelines. I made up for it with a good yoga session on Monday followed by a five mile run on the treadmill. Unfortunately I may have overdone the yoga because I strained my back. It didn't hurt to run but bending down resulted in sharp back pains. I skipped exercises and running for the next couple of days and the back began to feel better. The pain was still evident Thanksgiving morning, but that wasn't the reason I skipped out on another 5K. That was purely the result of wanting to sleep in and lack of motivation to put myself through the misery of a 5K. I'd feel guilty if not for the 10 miler with FJ the following morning. However, even though I didn't run the 5K, I still wound up with a sore hip later that evening. Is my body just falling apart? Is it the effects of turning 30?

Regardless of the hip I still ran with FJ. The hip was less bothersome while running, but that fact still didn't make for an easy run. We met up at 8AM. It was a very foggy morning and got thicker as I got closer to the Rose Bowl. Even with the fog, though, there were a lot of people at the Rose Bowl--walkers, runners, cyclists--trying to burn off the excessive calories they consumed at the dinner table.

I felt good during the first half of the run. Around mile 4 I was feeling confident that it would be a good run. The fog had burned off a little higher into the trails, so the visibility improved. However, a mile from our five mile mark and our turnaround point, my stomach began to rumble. It worried me, but I had a bowel movement, albeit a weak one, before the run, so I thought I'd manage to complete the run with no problems. The stomach settled a bit but from time to time it would rumble. A little after we reached the turnaround, my stomach rumbled again and I mentioned to FJ that my stomach was giving me problems but that I should make it back fine.

We made great progress. The run back after the turnaround is downhill and we usually make up a lot of time. The run may have gotten easier, but my stomach was getting queasier. Then, around mile 7, just above JPL, I had to stop running. My stomach was making it clear that it wanted to go sooner rather than later. I could have gone a little distance more but when the inevitable urge hits I may be stuck in the part of the trail we've dubbed "no man's land," a wide open area with no shade and certainly no secluded bushes to take care of business. I told FJ I needed a place to go, but my main concern was finding something to clean up with afterwards. I kept an eye out for discarded napkins but apparently no one litters any more. Fortunately there was a trash can down the hill and in it I found a Jack in the Box bag with plenty of unused napkins. I hid out in some bushes and did my business. It's the most uncomfortable feeling in the world.

This marked the second time I had to take care of business during a run. The first time was during my first season. I was running alone then, so no one knew any better. For a while after that I made a point to pack a tissue during my run, but I've let that practice go since I've had no use for it since then. I may have to start doing so again.

As for the rest of the run, my legs stiffened up during my ordeal, but we still finished in 1:41, which meant that we made up a lot of time even with the few minutes wasted. Next week I have the City of Angels Half and I'm trying to make sure my hip is in shape to run it. I'll take it easy this week but will try to get in some runs anyway.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Live from a marathon

The New York Times had one of its reporters report on the marathon course while he ran. I enjoyed listening to Grant Burningham's reports because I could relate to everything he says as he thrives off the crowd support then experiences the dreaded wall before the exhilaration of finishing. He finished in 4:30, a few minutes behind Oprah, whose marathon time has become the target of most first-time marathoners, as she was for mine. So if you've wondered what a runner sounds like while they're running in a marathon, listen to Burningham's report.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wedding Announcement...not mine

I think I've mentioned before my habit of reading the wedding announcements in the Sunday New York Times. It's been a while since I've read one that I thought was sweet and romantic, but the one for Carley Wellman and Kevin McAbee in today's Times is just that. I need to find me a veterinarian.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A New Season

The new season started last weekend at Hahamonga Park. It wasn't the ideal location for a first practice, but the UCLA game forced us to be flexible. As an assistant coach this season I'm still figuring out what my role and responsibilities are. I probably won't run with the participants during practice, only in short bursts to see how they're doing. However, FJ and I are hoping to do our own runs either in the afternoon or on Sunday. I'm trying to build up quickly to longer miles because I frankly find the shorter distances a little boring right now. Arrogance!

My longest run since returning from Europe has been five miles. I ran a five miler with Club Run LA on Monday night and I was able to complete it in 43 minutes flat, including time spent at stop lights. I did about 4.5 miles this morning at the gym in 40 minutes. I'm still trying to lose weight. Flat stomach is the goal for Christmas.