Monday, October 27, 2008

20 Miles

Having not run much the last three weeks, I worried about trying to do a 20 miler this weekend. My last long run was a 15 miler with Katie over a month ago. Can I manage 20 miles?

I did! I guess after four years of running, my body is used to it and would require a longer period of inactivity for it to fall apart. Not to say it wasn't tough, but then again running 20 miles is never easy. However, this ranks as one of my better 20 milers. I only fell apart the last couple of miles when I ran alone as FJ and Katie took a detour to extend their run. We were a half mile short of a full 20, so they kept going. I just wanted to finish.

My legs weren't as strong as I would like and it was tough for me to keep pace with FJ and Katie, but I managed. I still don't think I'm in any shape to set a personal best, but at least I know I will finish respectably.

It definitely helped that we ran the same 20 mile course Andy and I ran just before San Diego this year. We ran an out-and-back course from FJ's house to Elmer Smith--just under 10 miles point to point. We also managed to beat the hot weather by starting at 7:30 and there was the promise of donuts waiting at the finish. Mmm, donuts.

I neglected to start my chrono, but based on FJ's watch I finished at around 3 hours, 10 minutes, under a 10 minute pace!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Downtown to West Hollywood!

View Larger Map

8.7 miles
Time: 1:29:12

On Sunday I backed out of a planned run with FJ. I was just too tired from an all-day outing with Sameer that included hiking in Eaton Canyon and biking through North Long Beach and valeting bikes in Hollywood in the evening. Needless to say, I woke up Sunday morning not feeling up to running fifteen miles. It was all for the best. I woke up in the morning with a headache and felt too nauseous to be of much use the rest of the day. I actually went back to sleep after eating breakfast and didn't get up until almost 3pm.

Despite having a good excuse not to run, I was annoyed to miss out on a long run, especially since the race is in a month and I haven't been running as much as I should. Therefore I told myself that I will run Monday and Tuesday. No excuses.

I almost didn't make it out of the house to run on Monday out of laziness, but I forced myself. And as often happens, I actually ran farther than I had intended because it felt good. I ran from my house and planned to run down 4th Street and turning around at Rossmore then up to Beverly and back home through Larchmont. Instead I extended it by turning at Highland instead, adding about a 1.5 miles to what should have been a five mile run. I finished in less than an hour, kind of tired, but glad that I got a good run in.

On Tuesday I committed myself to running from work in downtown to West Hollywood for the GLU meeting. Per Google Maps it was about an 8.7 mile run. I thought it would be farther, but Google does not lie--at least I hope it doesn't.

I packed as minimally as possible, but even that was an annoyance. Running with a bag on my back just bothered me even though it was extremely light, containing only a clean shirt for later and my phone. By the time I got to Vermont I took the bag off and ran with it in my hand.

As for my course, I took 7th Street from downtown all the way until it gets blocked by the Ambassador Hotel at Catalina. From there I headed north on Catalina and turned left on 6th. From 6th I ran until the sidewalk was useless, which turned out to be at Oxford. I arrived at Oxford and 6th 40 minutes into my run, so basically if I ran from work to home, I would probably arrive no more than ten minutes later than if I had driven. And I probably would have arrived home faster running than by bus.

I headed north on Oxford and took the same route as the previous night--4th Street but instead of turning at Highland, I turned on La Brea and headed north to Fountain and from Fountain to my old street, Martel. All this in an hour and a half. Not bad.

The start of the run was difficult, having to dodge pedestrians in downtown and inhaling massive amounts of auto and bus exhaust as I ran down major streets. 4th Street was very pleasant with great neighborhood scenery.

During the run, I nearly got clipped by at least two cars, dodged a lot of cars pulling out of driveways without watching for pedestrians. Most drivers can't fathom the fact that there are people who actually use the sidewalks in L.A. The worst was tripping on the uneven sidewalk, though. Thankfully I didn't fall down.

I considered running back home after GLU, but with a mile left in my run I knew it would be a tall order. I was exhausted!

While running over fifteen miles over two nights doesn't equate to running fifteen miles at one time, I'm still proud of it. I'm really not in great shape, and I'm going to misss another weekend since I'll be up in Santa Barbara this weekend. I doubt I can get my ass in gear to run when I'm supposed to be relaxing. However, I'm still holding out hope that I can get myself together in the last couple of weeks before I start tapering. Tapering? Heck, that's what I've been doing all this time!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Laundry Service

Gentleman's Lozenge Socks, originally uploaded by adamknits.

I'm out of socks. I haven't done laundry in almost three weeks and I've exhausted my supply. I would prefer not to resort to the hole-y socks, so either I recycle some used socks or I do laundry soon. I can always just buy some socks at one of the shops on Broadway I pass by on my way to and from the subway, too, but in a few days I will also run out of underwear.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Favorite Weekend

Having not read the paper version of the L.A. Times in months, I'm not sure if they are still running the "My Favorite Weekend" column on Thursdays. Who knows what changes Sam Zell has wreaked on the paper. But if it still is, my weekend should qualify for it. Even more impressive is the fact that it actually happened and wasn't just an imaginary weekend from some B-level celebrity. And even more impressive than that, it was relatively affordable. No over-priced sushi for me.

Saturday started with Sameer and me riding Metro to South Pasadena and from the Mission station we rode our bikes to San Gabriel for dim sum at New Capital. It was a great morning for riding--overcast and cool--and the streets were still lightly trafficked, even notoriously gridlocked Garfield.

We arrived on time for our 10:30 dim sum date with the GLU fellas. Being rather indifferent to dim sum in general, I can happily report that I thoroughly enjoyed my meal on Saturday. I gorged myself on everything--even chicken feet. I left the table thoroughly full. Afterwards Sameer was on a mission to cap off the meal with some dan taat, which weren't able to get at New Capital. No problem. We just went downstairs to a Chinese bakery and ordered three different kinds. The Portuguese-style was the best.

By the time Sameer and I hopped back on our bikes it had started to sprinkle lightly, but not bad enough to prevent us from going to our next destination: Galco's in Highland Park.

Oh, Galco's! I've been wanting to visit for a while now, and now that I have I will definitely come back over and over again. I don't even drink soda! Since I hadn't had my daily cup of coffee yet, I bought an espresso coffee cola, which basically tasted like iced coffee with some carbonation. I also bought a root beer, a dandelion and burdock soda, cream soda, and a pear soda. They are all chilling in my refrigerator.

Post-Galco's we biked back to South Pasadena to drop by FJ's house. He finally got to meet Sameer and we talked for a bit before we cycled back to the Gold Line station.

After a quick clean up, we hopped back on Metro and headed down to Long Beach on a mission to eat Cambodian food and maybe watch a movie, time permitting. Time didn't permit for the movie, but we did have some tasty Cambodian cuisine. The restaurant we were going to check out turned out to be closed for a wedding reception. We were told there was another restaurant a couple of blocks down. Sure enough that restaurant also was hosting a wedding reception. We went inside a market and asked the proprietors if they knew of any other restaurants. They scoffed at first, but the older lady did point us to a couple of restaurants in the other direction of Anaheim Street. Just four blocks down, we settled on New Paradise.

Without going into much detail, dinner was good and we were treated to some line dancing by other diners and musical performances. Afterwards, we got some after dinner coffee at the Library. After a long day, I got back home at 11:30 in time to catch "Saturday Night Live."

Sunday was slower-paced but still fun. I got up early and went for a 10 mile run with Katie. Great weather and we made great time, finishing the run in 1hr, 34 min. I went to hang out with my family before my parents left for the Philippines this Wednesday. This entailed more eating. We love shabu shabu, which became my only meal for the day. I ate so much, that there really wasn't room for anything else.

To close out the weekend, I went to see Liz Phair perform Exile in Guyville at the Troubadour with FJ and his friend Dave. Good, solid show. Liz didn't do much with the songs, no reinvention, but it was fine. She sounded great, too, which was a relief.

So, there you go. My favorite weekend: lots of eating, a concert, running, cycling and great company. What more could a guy want?