I’m finally going to do it. I’ve registered to run my first ever marathon in Los Angeles this coming March 18. Of course, I needed to discuss this with my wife first.
To begin, this trip is going to cost about a thousand bucks, and I never spend more than a hundred without talking to my wife about it first. (Good thing that for me the whole trip is tax deductible.) But there is also the time issue.
When it comes to physical activity coupled with family life, tag-team parenting is essential. Two years ago, the six months leading up to my wife getting her black belt in karate were brutal for her. She was going hardcore all the time and it ate up a lot of her free time. She had this whole eye of the tiger thing going on where she was intensely focused on achieving her goal. She also had bruises over the rippling muscles. It was…kind of sexy.
I was a workout widow during this time. A lot of extra family duties fell on me because she was doing so much training. It also cost quite a bit of money to pay for the extra training. I didn’t mind at all because I knew this was something really important to her.
I’m not saying it’s payback time. Good marriages are about give and take, it just happens to be my turn to take, and for the next couple of months I’ll be dedicating extra time to longer runs and my wife is going to have to pick up the family slack. She’ll also be single parenting for the three days I’m down in LA for the race.
She’s okay with this because she knows how important it is for me, and because we talked about it beforehand. I didn’t just make the decision to do this on my own. She was a part of the whole decision-making process like I was for her when she was working so hard for her black belt.
So, the simple message is: when you’re married running a marathon is a team effort. There is someone who is going to need to pick up your slack, so make sure they’re on board. You need to communicate desires clearly and make sure your significant other has your back.
There is a limit, however.
I’ve got quite a few items on my exercise bucket list and running a marathon is only one of them. In the next few years I want to finish an Ironman triathlon, which is a 3.86K swim, followed by a 180K cycle, THEN followed by running a marathon. It makes marathon training seem like 5K training. Also, I’m going to need to spend a couple thousand on a new bike and I’ll need swimming lessons. Right now I suck at swimming.
I know this is going to be a major imposition on my wife, which is why I’ll only ever do it once (so long as I finish the race within the required 17 hours). I was talking to someone whose best friend’s husband was training for his eighth Ironman, and her friend was getting mighty sick of it. She felt like she was barely married to this guy anymore because he was always out training.
Yes, for six months when I do that Ironman training my wife is going to have to do a lot of extra work to cover for me. But I will make her this promise: As long as I finish in 16:59:59 or better, I’ll never do another.
And I’ll pay you back when you go for that second-degree black belt.
I thought the most frustrating part about the mishap was the fact it occurred while doing an every-day thing and not while running.
But the frustration of the injury is small potatoes – and something I’m OK with now – compared to dealing with the annoyance of trying to get an MRI and medical answers about what the heck I did to my knee.
It’s killin’ me.
I went to see a doctor four days after I hurt my knee on Dec. 10, and it wasn’t until this past Thursday when I saw a physical therapist.
Phone calls and visits to the medical office didn’t seem to speed up the paperwork. And neither did letting them know I’m in the middle of training for a marathon.
I guess I’ll have to deal with the system until I’ve jumped through enough hoops.
And I’m still currently waiting to get an MRI so I can get the actual results of my injury.
An initial examination during my first visit led the doctor to suspect a torn meniscus or torn ligament. I got some Ace bandage and crutches out of that visit. The crutches didn’t last more than a week before they got tossed aside. I didn’t expect much out of my first appointment other than to get the process going for an MRI. What a disappointment.
But after getting evaluated by a physical therapist, the extent of my injury got downgraded to possible ligament or meniscus strain.
That was good news and I thought, “Good, I got the evaluation out of the way. Now I can get scheduled for an MRI.”
Even after all the wait, there’s still more hoops ahead in the form of six pre-prescribed physical therapy treatments that came along with the visit to the specialist.
Gee. I should at least get a sticker or, better yet, a lollipop for all of the hoop hoppin’ I’m doing … with one good leg, might I add.
It’s been a letdown, but I really appreciate my physical therapist’s attempt to improve the situation, starting with having me do only three therapy sessions before putting in an urgent request for an MRI instead of waiting to see how my knee reacts after all six treatments.
I got one treatment out of the way during my physical therapy evaluation and I have two treatment appointments scheduled for this week.
At that point, I’ll have to rely on the paperwork processing. Again. Hopefully I won’t have too many more obstacles to face.
I might have to buy some Air Jordans just in case ’cause Lord knows I’ll need all the height I can get if I gotta jump through anymore hoops.
If you’re looking for the longest shot in the field at this year’s Los Angeles L.A. Marathon in March you’ll find it working out three days a week at the track in Beeman Park in Studio City.
Team ARC, it’s called. The team with the slowest times, longest odds and biggest hearts.
The team that won’t quit no matter how tough and painful it gets out there running and walking 26.2 miles.
Team ARC’s carrying the reputations and dreams of too many kids and adults like them on their shoulders to fail.
Kids born with severe mental and physical disabilities who have been told their entire lives to go play with your own, you’re not good enough to play – to compete – with us.
Yeah? Sez who?
“C’mon, old men, let’s go,” 25-year-old Angela Armenta yells, jogging onto the track at Beeman Park late Thursday afternoon for a team workout.
The young woman born with Down syndrome is laughing and rubbing it in a little because her teammates – the old men – have two L.A. Marathons already under their belts and she’s the rookie.
When Jennifer Davis, activities director for ARC – Activities for Retarded Children – asked Ralph Adame, 48, and his buddy Tim Sathre, 42, what they thought of a girl joining them for the marathon this year they said sure, why not?
“The guys have been so encouraging to her,” Davis says. “They’ve been pushing and inspiring each other. People don’t realize how important health and wellness is for the disabled community, too.”
We realize it. We just don’t pay much attention to it. That’s why national organizations like Special Olympics are so important to remind us what the physically challenged community is capable of.
Anything, if you give them a chance.
ARC’s always been one of my favorite nonprofits in the Valley because it has one of those back stories that make you want to stand up and cheer for them.
It was started in the late 1960s by a small group of local mothers whose children were retarded. Harsh term, but that’s what it was called back then.
They’d meet in a little park every Saturday to let their kids play together because nobody else’s kids seemed to want to play with them.
The mothers made a pact to watch over and protect each other’s “retarded” kids, and they have. Most of the original mothers have passed on, but their kids have stayed together – keeping the old ARC name because if it was good enough for their mothers, it’s good enough for them.
Ralph was born with brain damage. Tim was diagnosed as having mild retardation with autistic and Asperger’s tendencies.
Angela, born with Down syndrome, has two older brothers, a younger sister and two great parents who love her deeply and include her in all the social activities and sports the family enjoys.
Last September they asked Angela if she’d like to join Team ARC and start training for the L.A. Marathon? Angela gave it a couple of seconds’ thought before making up her mind.
“I do it,” she said, smiling. “I do it.”
So here she is on a late Thursday afternoon in early January with a couple of 5K’s and one 10K already under her belt – pushing her older, male teammates and one new member, Antoinette Mendoza, 42, to pick up the pace.
The Los Angeles Marathon is coming up in a couple of months and Team ARC – the longest shot with the biggest heart in the field – has to be ready.
They’re representing a couple of thousand kids and young adults in the Valley just like them – labeled since birth.
No way Team ARC is going to let them down.
If you want to support Angela and Team ARC, more information is available online at www.crowdrise.com/teamangela.
C.J. Lin, staff writer at the L.A. Daily News is training for her first marathon, the Honda LA Marathon. You can follow C.J.’s day-to-day progress on her twitter page and watch for her stories in the Los Angeles Daily News.
By C.J. Lin, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/01/2012 01:00:00 AM PST
Part of an occasional series about a novice runner training for the 2012 L.A. Marathon.
A year ago, Zia Hotaki was smoking a pack a week. The farthest he had ever run was a mile, and that was in high school.
A year ago, Danielle Hummel ran a 5K on New Year’s Eve and hated every minute of it. She just couldn’t understand why people liked running. She had signed up for several races and always quit.
Fast forward to today, the first of the new year, and Hotaki has quit smoking and is on his way toward becoming a world-class runner and a triathlete. Hummel already has three races – that she actually enjoyed – under her belt just since October.
The two are training for the L.A. Marathon, and on top of that, are about to tackle pretty serious undertakings: their 2012 New Year’s resolutions.
Starting today, Hummel, 27, is going to work on becoming a United States Running Streak Association member. Which means that for every single day of 2012 she’ll have to run at least one mile, even if she’s sick, injured or feeling lazy. Otherwise, she’ll have to start the streak all over again, and make sure she keeps it up for 365 consecutive days. (She can actually stop on Dec. 30, because it’s a leap year.)
Becoming a member is based on the honor system. Runners don’t get anything but bragging rights upon becoming a member. But even so, Hummel is pretty determined not to cheat.
“I feel like if you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself,” said Hummel, 27, of Burbank. “So I plan to stick with it.”
And then there’s her other resolution – doing a race every single month, including the L.A. Marathon in March.
I’m getting tired just thinking about it.
But Hummel, an art director for an automotive design firm, has been pretty tireless in keeping her 2011 resolution, which was to live the healthiest year of her life.
She did, and this year’s resolution is an expansion of that.
And like Hummel, Hotaki is the healthiest he’s ever been.
The 27-year-old computer security engineer had been weightlifting and felt like he had peaked. At the same time, he quit smoking after about four years for his wife, and needed another stress reliever.
So he began running, and for the first three months, it was hell.
But he kept pushing, and something clicked. And now he’s in the fastest pace group with the L.A. Roadrunners training group in Westlake Village, hoping to finish the L.A. Marathon in less than 3 hours and 30 minutes.
To run the Boston Marathon in April 2013.
It’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not something that anyone can sign up for, like here in L.A. Boston is the world’s oldest marathon, one of the best-known racing events and a hallowed course for serious runners, who must first qualify at other marathons before being allowed to sign up.
“It’s pretty much like if there was a world championship of running, Boston would be it,” said Hotaki of Woodland Hills.
For Hotaki, he’ll have to run a marathon in less than 3 hours and 5 minutes, which means finishing each mile at a 7:05 minute pace or better. And so he’s going to train for and then hope to beat that time during the Long Beach Marathon in October.
“It’s a good motivating factor to keep on not smoking,” Hotaki said. “It would make all my efforts right now all for naught if I started smoking again. Running is definitely a much bigger passion in my life now rather than smoking.”
And he’s also hoping to get into good enough shape to compete in the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Hawaii in 2013, where he’ll have to first qualify. If he does, he’ll have to swim 2.4 miles in the ocean, bike 115 miles and run 26 miles.
In comparison, my resolution seems measly. But I’m OK with that.
With the injury, the holidays, working overtime and it being colder and getting dark earlier, I had all but given up on training for the last of 2011.
So starting today, I’m going to get serious about training and wake up early if I have to. I just want to finish the L.A. Marathon, even if I’m whining and crawling to the finish line.
I should run with Morgan Lieberman, a 16-year-old soccer player from Calabasas High School also training for the marathon.
“My New Year’s resolution is to be able to find strength and motivation with the people around me,” Morgan said. “When I run, I feel invincible being part of a pack, and hopefully when I run the marathon I can give off positive energy to other people, and they can help me along the way, too.”
I’ll need all the help I can get with my resolution.
But I’m looking on the bright side – this is one resolution that I’ll only have to keep for another 78 days.
ASICS America Corporation is proud to announce its partnership with the Honda LA Marathon as the official apparel and footwear sponsor. This will be ASICS’ first sponsorship of the iconic “Stadium to the Sea” race that will take place Sunday, March 18, 2012. This marks yet another ASICS’ sponsorship of a major marathon worldwide, including the ING New York City Marathon, Tokyo Marathon and Paris Marathon.
The Honda LA Marathon is one of the four largest marathons in the U.S. and one of the ten largest worldwide. The “Stadium to the Sea” course runs through four cities – Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica – and the federal VA property, taking runners past a highlight reel of sites starting at Dodger Stadium and including landmarks such as Grauman’s Chinese Theater (mile 11.5), Sunset Strip (mile 14), Rodeo Drive (mile 17) and finishing at the Santa Monica Pier.
“We are extremely proud that ASICS has added the Honda LA Marathon to its world-class stable of races around the globe, including Tokyo, Paris and New York,” says Nick Curl, Chief Operating Officer of the LA MARATHON LLC. “ASICS is a premier company with a tremendous track record in the running community. We look forward to working in partnership with ASICS in the coming years to take the Honda LA Marathon to even greater heights.”
As the official apparel and footwear sponsor, ASICS has the opportunity to promote the partnership nationally and locally with media, as well as manufacture and sell co-branded licensed marathon merchandise. In addition, ASICS will integrate its activation marketing campaign into race week festivities.
“We are excited to be part of this growing race,” says ASICS Vice President of Marketing, Erik Forsell. “The landscape of a city like Los Angeles will allow us to expand and demonstrate our marketing efforts like we do in New York and enable us to partner with the biggest marathons on the east and west coasts.”
The “Stadium to the Sea” course debuted in 2010 with a record total of more than 26,000 participants. In 2011, Ethiopia’s Markos Geneti shattered the course record by nearly two minutes, with a worldclass time of 2:06:35.
For more information on the Honda LA Marathon visit www.lamarathon.com.
ABOUT LA MARATHON LLC
We inspire athletes and connect communities. With thousands of volunteers, tens of thousands of participants, and hundreds of thousands of spectators, the Honda LA Marathon is one of the largest organized road races in the country. www.lamarathon.com