On December 27, 2011, I planned to run the other 4 miles I didn’t get to last time. I told myself I would run them on Boxing Day, but things didn’t go as planned as my brother and I took a stroll down nostalgia lane visiting the schools we attended (aka imprisoned in). This was of major interest to my step-niece who even wanted to see the schools she most certainly doesn’t miss going to. My niece however got bored out of her mind which made my brother and I laughing. We remember what it was like to be 7 and bored out of our minds as this was nowhere as enthralling as her new Nintendo DDS.
This time I ventured out to another 24 Hour Fitness gym in Concord, California. Granted, after last visiting the one in San Ramon, it seemed better to just go to the Bally’s Total Fitness my dad’s a member of since it’s typically much less crowded. But I was looking for an excuse to some shopping at Rasputin’s Record Store which was also in Concord. For you Los Angeles residents, it’s another version of the Amoeba Record store right near Arclight Hollywood but a little smaller.
Anyway, after not finding anything I wanted there, I went straight to the Sun Valley Mall where a 24 Hour Fitness Sport Club had been installed a few years back. It was my first time there, and it doesn’t quite compare to the one in San Ramon. While that one had more space, the Concord club felt more compact and congested even with two floors of equipment. I kept going back and forth on whether to use one of the treadmills upstairs or downstairs. It’s a good thing I was by myself because anyone would have quickly lost their patience with my indecisiveness. I finally decided to do my running upstairs as a number of treadmills on the bottom floor were not working.
I kept my pace at around 13:20 per mile although I was at times eager to run faster. Didn’t need to rely on my Ironman watch for interval timing because I could just go with what was on the digital display. This was an ordinary treadmill so there were no special features, no weird computerized faces looking at me like I’m out of my mind, and no television attached to it. Throughout the run, I never got fatigued or exhausted as I was determined to run those last 4 miles. Note to self: setting goals in life is a good thing, and at times a major necessity.
Again, people were hanging out behind me and waiting for the next available treadmill. Even if there weren’t any signs up, it goes without saying that we all observed the 30 minute maximum rule on cardio equipment. Still, I wanted the full hour on the treadmill so that I wouldn’t fall behind on my training. Even as others behind me were increasingly anxious to get on, none of them came up to see how long I’ve been on.
The only real distraction during my run was Fox News which had The O’Reilly Factor on. As much as I tried to focus on something else, the curiosity of seeing this channel which the Daily Show brilliantly lampoons on a regular basis took over. Even though the sound was off, those subtitles on the screen just screamed out what Bill was pissed about this past week. I also loved how the other show after it (I think it was Sean Hannity’s) had people talking about how they support free speech but don’t want comedians like Bill Maher joking about religion. It’s easy to forget how Fox News can be good for laughs, however unintentional.
On my treadmill, I also noticed that someone left their tiny little iPod in the space where you can put it or a bottle of water among other things. Thoughts raced through my head about what to do with it. Should I turn it in, or do I assume whoever left it has long since left the building? It’s not like I don’t have enough iPods, and I was already working out with one of my 160GB editions which has about 27GB of free memory left in it. In the end, common sense kicked in and I vowed to take it to the front desk when I finished my run. I don’t need any bad karma right now as this year found me without full time employment, and this is the longest stretch of unemployment I’ve ever been through.
Eventually, the owner of said iPod came up and asked for it back, and I kindly gave it to him. How frustrating would it be to lose an expensive piece of equipment like that anyway? We store so much stuff on our electronic devices that it’s like our whole life is on it. Can we bear to leave anything at home anymore?
So I finished my hour on the treadmill without anyone kicking me off, and I ran just over 4 miles burning around 500 calories or so. I didn’t bother showering when I was done as my presence was requested back home. While you might think that last sentence contained a little too much information, my dad was cooking some Porterhouse steaks for the family to eat upon my request. He bristled however when I asked why there was no barbecue sauce to pour on them. Apparently, there are some steaks too sophisticated for any barbecue sauce, and that even includes A1 Steak Sauce. But I bet I would still get some if I asked for it at my favorite restaurant.
So good for me! I did the 8 miles I needed to do. I’ll be back in Los Angeles to train with Team To End AIDS for our last run of 2011. I’ll get to show off my new pair of running shoes to everyone, and I remain conscious of landing on the balls of my feet and not the heels.
Hope you all had a great Christmas!
IF YOU ARE READING THIS ON DECEMBER 31, 2011, THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO MAKE A TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TO MY EFFORTS AND STICK IT TO THE MAN IN THE PROCESS. I’M STILL LESS THAN HALFWAY THERE, AND ANY SUPPORT WILL TRULY HELP.
For those reading this on January 1, 2012, don’t wait until the last day of the year to make a tax deductible donation and please help me out. All the money goes to AIDS Project Los Angeles, a non-profit organization which has done so much for those who can no longer help themselves.
CLICK HERE TO MAKE A DONATION
Other days of 2012 LA Marathon Training:
Day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6, 7, 8, and 9