Friday, February 29, 2008

Just When I Think I'm Out...

26 Mile, originally uploaded by savemejebus.

Before last year's Los Angeles Marathon I told myself that it would be my last one for a while. There are many other marathons out there that I have to run and three was enough--for now--of the L.A. Marathon. For the rest of the year I was secure and satisfied with the decision and looked forward to cheering friends on in the race. With my recent move to Hollywood, it also put me in the perfect location to catch the runners at mile 3 at Hollywood and Highland, hop on the subway and catch them again in Koreatown, then to downtown. I was happy.

Two weeks ago, I got the itch. I looked up at a billboard promoting the marathon and I thought it looked cool. I bet the shirt would be awesome this year. Maybe I ought to run it and get the shirt, I thought. A shirt! $100 and 26.2 miles of running for a shirt! I quickly dismissed it but the seed had been planted. I then let it drop to my running buddies that I'm "mildly considering" running the race. It took very little persuading, actually no persuading, and I agreed to do the race.

I guess I really did want to do the marathon after all, but this year will be different in that I'm running it for fun. Honest. I'm not trained well for it, I still have a nagging issue with my knee, and I'm just not in the mindset to run a fast race. FJ and I are doing it to support Andy on his first marathon. If we post a PR, which I doubt, it would be fantastic. I'll be there to soak in the crowds, run with friends for the first time after being very much a solo runner at my previous marathons, and enjoying the wonderful soreness that will follow.

So look for me somewhere on the course. This will be L.A. Marathon #4 and my 6th overall. See you there, L.A.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

New York Times Wedding Announcement of the Week

This week's couple survived a months-long separation as the groom worked in Europe.

Lili Monowitz and John Lampasona

It appears that the two of them come from different worlds. For one thing her last name is Monowitz, his is Lampasona. Her father was an executive at Revlon, his father is the assistant superintendent of the mechanical department for New York for New Jersey Transit Rail Operations. Yet they found love.

What really grabbed me is the description of Mr. Lampasona's attempt at getting the approval of her parents to propose. According to the announcement, the Monowitzes were "having cocktails and hors d’oeuvres." I never realized people had hors d'oeuvres outside of parties and formal dinners. Maybe next time I'm enjoying a bag of Doritos and a pint of beer I'll tell people that I'm actually having cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Someone did pretty well in his Oscar predictions.

Oscar Predictions

Best Picture
Will/Should: No Country For Old Men

Best Actor
Will/Should: Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

Best Actress
Will: Marion Cotillard, La Vie En Rose
Should: Laura Linney, The Savages

Best Director
Will/Should: Joel and Ethan Coen

Best Supporting Actor
Will: Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Should: Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Best Supporting Actress
Will/Should: Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

Best Original Screenplay
Will: Juno
Should: Ratatouille

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will/Should: No Country For Old Men

Best Animated Film
Will/Should: Ratatouille

Best Documentary Feature
Will/Should: No End In Sight

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New York Times Wedding Announcement of the Week

Nepotism? I hope not, but at the very least this week's couple have used the clout of their parents to pursue their line of work.

Christine Pelosi and Peter Kaufman

I can't say that this is a union of two powerful families. Philip Kaufman hasn't made a significant film in a long time and even at his prime, the Kaufman name didn't carry the cache of a Spielberg or a Coppola. Still, it's a significant convergence of two liberal families.

Good luck to the happy couple!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Weekend Numbers

Total Miles Run: 18

Birthday Parties: 2

Taco Truck Meals at 1AM: 1

Pancakes Consumed: approx. 5 pounds (I'm not exaggerating)

Amount Spent in 2 Hours of Shopping: $350 (2 Kenneth Cole trousers, 1 Kenneth Cole Reaction cologne gift package, 1 pair of Kenneth Cole shoes, 2 Banana Republic polos, 1 Banana Republic jacket, 5 DVD's, 1 pair of Lucky Brand jeans)

DVD's Watched: 2

Weight Gained: ???

Sunday, February 10, 2008

02.09.2008: 17.5 miles (or so)

Distance: approx. 17.5 miles
Time: roughly 3 hours
Location: Rose Bowl/Arroyo Seco

I had intended to run no more than 14 miles but I was feeling good so I kept going with Andy and FJ, who were planning to run 20. My legs were tight early on for the first five miles and I doubted I'd even last 14 miles, but by the time we made our way back from the north side and stopped off at Lot K for a short break I was feeling warmed up. My right calf and hamstring felt a little tight but not bad enough to affect or slow me down. I took a Gu at this point and I think it gave me a second wind.

The night before I had a couple glasses of wine and didn't get as much sleep as I would have liked, but ultimately it didn't become a factor. It was also the first warm Saturday in a while. At the start it was a cool 50 degrees but by the time we finished it was in the 70s--not terribly hot but after being spoiled by the cool winter weather it felt almost unbearable. It beats the rainy weather from last Sunday, though.

On the running fashion front, I wore a brand new Adidas top I had bought from the Adidas outlet in Ontario Mills. I was all Adidas-ed out--top, shorts, socks--but as FJ pointed out I wasn't matching. Waking up bleary-eyed on a Saturday morning, figuring out how my shirt and shorts match is too much thinking than I'm willing to do. In any event, I loved the shirt I was wearing. It might have rocketed to the top as my favorite running shirt. It was comfortable, moved well, felt soft on my skin, and it did a great job of keeping me dry. I ran for three hours and it looked like I had only done 3. Actually that might not be such a good thing. I may have to make another trip to Ontario Mills and stock up on more shirts.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

New York Times Wedding Announcement of the Week

There are a couple of ways you can look at the story of this week's couple

Lucy Demerjian and Joseph Flynn

Romantic - It took years, but they fell in love and lived happily ever after.
Cynical - She only liked him after a friend expressed interest.
Pessimistic - She settled for the nice guy.
Opportunistic - Days after breaking up, he calls her up. She may be accused of going after a friend's "sloppy seconds."

Regardless, they're together and I wish them the best.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Race Report: 02.03.2008 - Surf City Half Marathon


Distance: 13.1 miles
Time: 1:49:32 (8:22/mile)
Where: Huntington Beach, CA

It was a good news/bad news kind of race. Let's start with the bad.

The main culprit of the race was the weather. The rain would have been tolerable by itself. You get used to being soaked. Throw in the wind, though, and it's just horrible. The wind slows you down and it made the inclement weather even more intolerable with the rain blowing into you. The weather not only wreaked havoc during the race, it also made a mess of the race start. The line to the shuttles were long, the gear check-in was a mess, and the Port-A-Potties were packed. It was ugly out there, which made it more surprising that so many people still showed up.

My race could be viewed as ugly too. At 1:49:32 it marks the first half marathon or marathon where I didn't PR. In fact it's my second slowest half marathon ever. It's five minutes faster than my very first half marathon, which was this race in 2005, but it's also six seconds slower than the 2005 America's Finest City. Last year, I ran a 1:43:48.

Due to a hectic pre-race, I wound up starting the race 15 minutes after the gun went off. I must have been in a Port-A-Potty when the race started. I used the bathroom three times before the race and once after. My tummy was misbehaving. As a result of using the toilet, I had to play catch-up and I had to squeeze myself through slower runners. Last year's race was a clean, fast start with the third or so corral. This year was much slower.

I felt stiff early on and it didn't go away immediately, so I resolved to take it easy rather than risk injuring myself. I also felt unprepared and out of shape, so the confidence wasn't there. I hoped for a respectable time and I think I got it.

Like I said I took it easy during the run, and it seems as if I had a lot left in the tank. I wound up speeding up throughout the race. At the 7.75 mile mark, I was running an 8:43 pace. I finished with an 8:22 pace and felt like l could keep going. As I crossed the finish line I felt great. I was tired, sure, but by Monday there was little soreness. It felt like I had just gone for a long practice run. Even though it was one of my slowest times, it was also one of the easiest races I've done.

My knees also held up very well and didn't cause any problems at all. Soon I hope I will be as fit as I've ever been and when I do the race next year I will run a sub-1:40. I hope.

Also good is the fact that my friends Astrid, Preeti and Quynh all completed their very first half marathons--in the rain, no less.

So, yes, it was a slow race for me, but it also yielded some positive things. Hopefully in better weather I'll once again start posting personal bests.