Doing the Hard Way, 15 Miles at a Time

This morning I was suppose to go for a 15 mile run with my run group in Santa Monica. As luck would have it, I was unable to fall asleep. I got to bed early like a good little runner. However I simply laid in bed unable to fall asleep. Eventually I got out of bed at 1 or 2am and watched a little tv. Still not sleepy. I even had a glass of scotch which kinda made me sleepy, so I got back into bed. Nope.

It was now 3:30am and I'm laying there ticked off and worried how I'm going to get enough sleep to be able to get up in 2 hours. I start to think about sleeping in and simply driving over to my personal spot in Santa Monica to do a private run later in the day. However I think it will mess up my day and I didn't want to do that. I then thought, "Why not run now?" Ugh. I so didn't want to do that. I had lots of reasons why I shouldn't do that. However it was the realization that this was the least desirable choice. I decided because of that, I had to do it.

There have been plenty of things that have caused me to have this viewpoint. One of the biggest is when training for a marathon (not only LA but also Germany) there is the physical training is actually pretty just run. It's the mental that's much harder and difficult. If I'm resisting doing something and there is no logical reason other than, "I don't want to", "I'm tired" or other such bullshit excuses. Then I have to do it. I'm trying to get my body AND mind strong. Not only when it comes with running but with other new and difficult things that can be scary. The most notable being working on my screenplays.

With that decision I'm up and walking to the car at 4am to drive to Santa Monica. On the way as I'm getting on the 405 my car has an alarm go off which causes me to jump and figure out what the hell is happening. I look down and see my car is warning me that outside has gotten to be 37 degrees. The last time that warning went off I was driving up a mountain covered in snow. I then watched as the temperature dropped down to 33 degrees right in front of my eyes. Seriously within seconds. That was exactly the time a voice popped in my head and asked, "Um...Kevin, are you sure you want to go running?" To which I simply responded to that voice with, "Wimp."

I get to the school parking lot where our group meets and parked on the street since no one was there, obviously. I then proceeded to get ready to go for my run while being amazed just how errie quiet the street was. I get bundled up as much as I could and make my way to the boardwalk. I see cops sitting in their car on the boardwalk probably looking at this crazy guy going for a run when everyone else is trying to get away from the bone chilling cold. I turn the other way and start on my run.

After about a half mile I have a minivan driving on the boardwalk behind me. I move to the side to let him by even though cars aren't suppose to be driving on it unless you are a cop. The minivan kept it's distance which then caused me to start to hear that voice again, "You stupid freaking idiot. We are going to get killed all because you couldn't freaking sleep. Or worse, we're going to get raped." The only response I could muster, "We are so NOT going to get raped, with all the spandex and layers we have on, they will lose any erection before they can unhook your water belt." Thankfully right at that time the police threw their sirens on and pulled the minivan over. I looked back and simply think it was either a drunk or maybe lost guy unable to figure out how to get to another street and mistook it for a side street.

I then proceeded to run for 15 miles. 15 BONE CHILLING CRAZY FUCKING MILES. Holy shit what the hell was I thinking?!

It wasn't so bad at first. Except with time and different directions I would get the wind in my face which did NOT feel good. Add on top of the sweat soaked clothes I was wearing. I was seriously considering quitting to head back home for the safety of my warm bed. To which I had another fun conversation with myself and bitch slapped him into manning up and seeing it to the end.

Then something funny started to happen...the sun started to rise. Not only did it give me some motivation to continue as well as pride that I had stuck it through the darkness to literally "see the light". Then the funny part, I started to fall apart. My face was numb, my legs were sore, my feet hurt and I was freezing to my core. I wanted to quit but I was about 2 or more miles away from my car. So I did what I would like to think what anyone else would do. No I didn't call a taxi, I reached down and ran another mile further. When I hit mile 12 I was so damn happy. I could turn around and head back and run the 3 miles back to my car.

Strangely this was the hardest part even though it was warming up and was starting to look like a beautiful day. All I could do was think about how I was feeling and didn't like it. Knowing I had 3 miles to go and no way to magically make them faster or fly to my car, I found my mind wandering. I was listening to a screenwriting podcast on my iPod (by the way...highly recommend the Scriptnotes podcast) and found myself thinking of my screenplay. Next thing I know I'm getting ideas of the structure and story and have forgotten all about the running hell I'm putting myself through. Then my GPS watch beeps and tells me I'm done. 15 miles and 2,200+ calories burned.

I made my way back to my car and the school parking lot thinking I'll hit the bathroom before heading home. Only to find that they lock the gates while the groups run. By this time they had started their runs about 20 minutes prior. I was too exhausted or cold to care. At this point if I pissed myself while in my car I could have cared less. I just wanted to be warm and dry. I stripped down and got dry clothes on and headed back home. Not before stopping at a restaurant to inhale french toast, eggs and sausage.

I got home and then proceeded to fall on my bed, fully ready to sleep. Guess it only took running 15 miles in freezing cold.