My Second Run, Post-Attitude Adjustment

I woke up today and was greeted by a brand-new best friend on my forehead – a zit.  Is it gross to post a photo of a zit on a blog?  Oh well, I’m doing it anyway:

I’ve been lucky in that I’ve never had a huge acne problem.  I get a zit every once in a while, but I wasn’t one of those teenagers that suffered terrible acne break-outs.  As a result, I’ve also never really had a skin-care regimen.  I use soap in the shower, and that’s about it.  Oh, and I drink tons of water, which everyone says is great for your skin.  I shoot for a gallon of water a day.  I don’t drink the water expressly for my skin – I drink it because I like it, and it’s healthy, and the skin thing is just a added benefit.

What’s in the future for this zit?  I guess I’ll let it run its course.  Unless it gets bigger and worse, in which case I might take matter into my own hands, by which I mean I’ll apply a little toothpaste to it.  Isn’t that supposed to work?  I remember hearing that on TV years and years ago.

There was no time this morning to focus on the zit anyway, because I had plans to meet my friend Amy at 9am to go running!  I met Amy a few months after moving to Los Angeles over 8 years ago – we were both Pages at NBC (like Kenneth on 30 Rock), and we’ve been friends since.  She read my post last week about adjusting my crappy attitude towards running, and suggested I join her for a run that she really enjoys, in Encino.  Since part of my plan to enjoy running again involves running in new locations, I was game.  Plus, at 9am on Sunday, it was only a 15 minute drive.

At 9am, we were in the parking lot of the Balboa Golf Course.  Amy runs here regularly – at one point she was training for a marathon, until an injury derailed her training – and was familiar with the paths.  There’s a trail that circles the golf course that totals 3.2 miles, or we could do a route that’s about 5 miles.  I’ve only run 5 miles once in my life, and so we decided to do the 3.2 mile route, and just extend it if we were feeling good.

The path around the golf course was mostly hard-packed gravel, and all the rain from the past 2 days had created a lot of mud that I did my best to avoid (I’m glad I wore my old shoes).  There was one time I couldn’t avoid it, and it was the worst kind of mud – really thick, like pudding, and slick – I had to be careful for my next few steps, for fear of slipping or sliding, because I knew that if I slipped, I’d definitely fall, and maybe even die.  (Sorry to be so extreme, but ever since my near-fatal run a few weeks ago, that’s where my mind goes!)

I haven’t gone running with a friend in a long time, and it really does make a huge difference.  It’s nice to have someone there alongside you, and, as a result, I felt really good during the run.  My pace might have been a little on the slow side, but it was consistent, and I did notice my thoughts were along the lines of “I can probably keep this up for a while” instead of “How much longer ’til this is over?”  So, when the time came to choose between heading back to the car or extending the run beyond the 3.2 mile loop, we opted to go further.

We headed up Balboa Boulevard, and entered Lake Balboa Park, which is a big city park built around a man-made 80-acre lake.  There’s playground equipment, and in the summer you can rent paddleboats, and you can fish and picnic and relax.  There’s a path that circles the lake, so Amy and I ran around that.

I went back afterwards to take these pictures.  Here’s the lake, with the mountains in the background:

Note the snow-capped mountains.  That can be seen from Los Angeles – a very rare sight!  It actually snowed in Burbank yesterday, for only the third time in recorded history, and my car was pelted by hail yesterday, too.  Very exciting!

The cherry blossoms were in bloom, so there was lots of pretty trees to run past:

And there were also tons and tons of birds.  Birds everywhere.  There were lots of birds that I recognized, like ducks and pigeons and seagulls.  I didn’t see this swan when Amy and I were running, but when I circled back to shoot these photos, there he was:

Then there were the birds that I didn’t recognize.  Any ornithologists out there?  There were hundreds of these guys, everywhere – what are they?

And here they are walkin’ around:

And then there were these guys, who might be some sort of heron, or crane, or emu, or dodo?

I’m no scientist, but I’m pretty sure I’ve discovered where those birds like to shit – it’s right there, on that roof.  Gross!

The path around the lake is 1.3 miles.  After that, we headed back to the parking lot.  I looked at my iPod when we were finished, and the run lasted…. 60 minutes, exactly.  WOW.  This is only the second time ever I’ve run for a full hour without stopping!  The distance, though, is an educated guess:  the two loops we ran were 3.2 and 1.3 miles, so that’s 4.5 miles, and the educated guess part is that we think we ran about .5 miles between them.  Amy and I agreed upon calling it a 5-mile run.  Time to update the chart!

  • 9/21/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 41 minutes.  MPH: 4.53
  • 9/27/10: Distance: 3.3 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 4.4
  • 10/5/10: Distance: 3.2 miles.  Time: 40 minutes.  MPH: 4.8
  • 10/12/10: Distance: 3.8 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 10/16/10: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Forgot to note time and MPH
  • 11/1/10: Distance: 3.1 miles.  Time: 36 minutes.  MPH: 5.16
  • 11/6/10: Distance: 5.1 miles. Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.1
  • 11/14/10: Distance: 3.9 miles. Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.2
  • 11/28/10: Distance: 4.2 miles. Time: 46 minutes.  MPH: 5.47
  • 1/4/11: Distance: 3.0 miles. Time: 34 minutes.  MPH: 5.3
  • 1/24/11: Distance: 4.4 miles.  Time: 45 minutes.  MPH: 5.86
  • 2/1/11: Distance: 1.9 miles.  Time: 20 minutes.  MPH: 5.7
  • 2/9/11: Distance: 3.5 miles.  Time: 38 minutes.  MPH: 5.52
  • 2/16/11: Distance: 2.9 miles.  Time: 33 minutes.  MPH: 5.28
  • 2/27/11: Distance: 5 miles.  Time: 60 minutes.  MPH: 5.0

As suspected, not my fastest run, but I’m still very proud.

Keep it up, David!

5 Responses to My Second Run, Post-Attitude Adjustment

  1. Jen says:

    The little black/grey birds with white beaks are Coots and the ones up on the shelter are Cormorants.

  2. Kelly B says:

    Great job on the run! Who cares how fast you ran…as long as you did it, right?!

  3. Amy says:

    Good job David! Congratulations on getting past your road block.

  4. Mom says:

    yes, the zit is gross! But congrats on the run.

  5. Kim says:

    Post was great EXCEPT YOUR ZIT! Please don’t have follow up pics of that! What were you thinking?

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