After promising myself and Cay that I would never run another marathon after completing LA's in 2006 I will find myself breaking that promise this coming Sunday, March 20, 2011. I made the promise after injuring my left achilles tendon while training in '06 and I thought I would never be able to run long distances again.
Last year the LA Marathon announced a course that would take runners from Downtown LA to Santa Monica. The finish line is just over a mile away from my front door. I began training for last year's race after mulling over the psychological advantage I would have with the idea of "Running Home." I got to eight or nine miles on my training runs before my old achilles injury re-emerged and I was forced to give up.
This past August I had friends (JJ & JW) at work ask me about training and I became excited about trying again. I would have to change something about my technique to avoid injury and I chose to participate in the barefoot running movement in Vibram Five Finger shoes.
Running in vibrams I was feeling no pain but my training runs of 12 miles or more would prove too damaging to the skin of my toes and forefeet. I've heard from the running community that the Nike Free running shoes are a nice compromise between barefooting it and using full-heeled running shoes. I took a chance and bought a pair from Zappos in December. I also starting using Danny Dreyer's Chi Running (Thanks, NP) as a guide during these trying months. Since then I have been able to complete long training runs and I am signed up to go 26.2 miles as racer #11,361.
With this past Friday's devastating earthquake hitting Japan I feel compelled to run for a cause that may alleviate some suffering. I'm sure you've all seen photos and videos that will haunt us forever.
My Crowdrise fundraising page for the American Red Cross for Japan relief fund is here: http://shar.es/3OFxe
No donation would be too small. Please help the Japanese people. Cay and I visited their country in the summer of 2005 and we found it to be the most interesting, advanced, and unique culture we've ever been fortunate enough to experience.
As far as race day goes, you can follow my progress via Twitter, text messaging, or Facebook by signing in to http://www.lamarathon.com/runner-info/race-day-tracking/
I'm very much looking forward to the marathon. A couple of weeks ago Cay and I went up to the Baldwin Hills Overlook in Culver City and from there I could visualize the race from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier. I hope to have a peak experience and I look forward to sharing my results and info about fundraising soon after the race.