Why, hello Saturday! I had almost forgotten what you looked like! Instead of the usual Ironman training regimen, I had an off day in preparation for tomorrow morning's 20-mile run from Universal City to Chinatown for the Firecracker 10k. Here's a peek at the route.
To celebrate my morning of relaxation, I did what any reasonable person would do: I slept. And slept. Then, I slept some more. Until about 10:45 a.m. I needed that!
The rest of the day was fairly decadent, especially with the constant schedule I've maintained since this past November. I enjoyed perhaps one of my all-time favorite breakfasts at Larchmont Bungalow. People, you must try their Best of Both Worlds pancakes and brioche French toast. Of course, I added scrambled eggs and chicken-apple sausage to it for balance.
Feeling fat and sassy, I headed to downtown LA to register for the Firecracker 10k, since I hadn't done that yet. Then, I jetted back to Encino to Phidippides, a popular running store. I'm replacing my Amphipod runner's belt with a Nathan, since I couldn't ever quite get comfortable with the Amphipod fit. I also purchased compression socks and shorts to experiment for tomorrow's run. Full report coming post-race, of course.
The highlight of the day though came tonight, at the Safe at Home charity event featuring Dodgers manager Joe Torre and my boyhood hero (make that every Jewish kid's hero), Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax. Despite knowing I'd get home late and have less sleep heading into tomorrow's run, I needed to hear Koufax tell stories about his career since he so rarely grants public interviews. Several heavy hitters in Los Angeles apparently agreed, as former and current Dodger players, Hollywood directors and actors, helped pack a nearly full house. One of my favorite sports writers, LA Times columnist TJ Simers, moderated. Simers was as feisty and crotchety as ever, but Koufax never bit, displaying his signature wit and class throughout the discussion.
Hearing Koufax' tales of tenacity during a career filled with injury, scrutiny and mystery certainly inspired me. I will remember the pain he must have endured pitching nearly 600 innings over the last two seasons of his career as I labor before sunrise tomorrow during my run. I will recall that in order to become a champion, you can never lose sight of your goals, but the core of your personality is even more important. I will internalize that you can win while keeping your head down and building others up, that nobody has to suffer at the hands of your own triumph.
Yeah, I'd say it was a pretty darned good Saturday.
And now, I fade off to sleep and dream of breaking another milestone tomorrow: my first 20-mile run.
I can't wait!
269 days and counting.