Godfather Alex Loza
I have registered for the Oakland Half-Marathon. Once again, I’ll be subjecting myself to hours of training, backaches, blisters, and unsightly tan lines. Blues will have to sit through hours of Dora the Explorer and The Wonder Pets on weekend mornings. I’ll question my sanity.
And then I’ll get a medal.
I did it again! Another 13.1 miles, this time down the Las Vegas strip(and the neighborhoods that boast real strip clubs)in the cold crisp morning. I was joined by hundreds of Elvis impersonators, brides and grooms, and a dragon. I walked 4, ran 9, and smiled all the way.
More to come.
I’m supposed to be running a race but I am taking care of Watts’ baby boy. Finally race day arrives and it is both foggy and drizzly. Part of the race is on a gently sloping overpass. Part of the course is indoors, the final leg in a ballroom with hardwood floors. I pass an open bar, district employees including a higher up who radios for my running coach. At one point, four of my work friends, including Work Mommy, throw a heavy canvas tarp over me. I growl that its not funny and that I need to keep running. I crawl through the final carrel.
My morning run took me through the Manor, my neighborhood(perhaps not as desirable as the Bay-o-vista hilas or the Shoreline, but popular for its small town feel and fruit trees) and through industrial San Leandro. As I passed the Golden Grain pasta factory, I noticed a rainbow in the sky, another sign of my Play Brother’s presence, back in my dreams again. I headed to downtown to the Main Library and back past the BART station and a dozen warehouses and furniture outlets. I ran to my iPod’s melange of disco, gospel, reggaeton, and house, mostly happy, if feeling a slight ache in my left foot. My newly busy social life has put me a week behind in my training for Vegas. But the 7 miles felt great, a testament to my tenacity, optimism, and love of the universe.
After more than two weeks since I fell down onto the hard concrete of an outdoor breezeway at work, I tied on my Saucony Grid Hurricanes(ouch! the tops of both of my feet are still tender) and strapped on my hot pink iPod armband. I ran a mile to the shoreline, the Bay cloaked in so much gray fog, I couldn’t see the City. Didn’t matter. I love the Bay in the morning. I love the Bay.
And I love to run.
I am heartsick.
Don’t worry. It’s not over what you might be thinking.
Today I am gloomy because I am NOT READY for Sunday’s half-marathon.
As GI Joe used to proclaim, “knowing is half the battle.” I can admit that I have neglected my training program for several weeks, mostly because I was in an out-of-state city on Saturdays. My longest run has been 6 miles which I did on my birthday three weeks ago. I considered running 9 miles today but my ex-coach advised against it, given that my last run was in New York nearly 2 weeks ago and only 2 miles. So I ran 2 miles at hilly Lake Chabot this morning and am feeling a growing sense of dread about Sunday.
Failure has never been comfortable for me. I know I often set myself up for failure by overextending myself, overanalyzing myself and others, or overimagining failure/rejection/abandonment. But I don’t enjoy failure in a masochistic sense. I detest and dread it. So did I set myself up to fail in preparing for this half-marathon? I don’t think so. I was undisciplined and now my weak ankles may pay the price on Sunday.
Part of me would like to donate the $65 registration fee to the many charities spo, onsored by the San Francisco marathon. But then I tell myself that failure teaches. So, as nervous as I am, I’m going to show up in my running gear in the chilly Golden Gate Bridge fog at 6am Sunday and if necessary, I’m going to crawl across that finish line, medal or no medal.