Our Version of Eminem’s ‘8 Mile’

“You better lose yourself in the music, the moment

You own it, you better never let it go

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment

You own it, you better never let it go

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo.”


“Lose Yourself” from the movie “8 Mile

It’s more than appropriate that I quote a song by Eminem (let alone one that won him an Oscar for Best Original Song) in this entry as it comes from the movie “8 Mile,” and this week’s run had us running 8 miles which is our longest distance yet in training for the 2014 Los Angeles Marathon. Plus, Jessica said she played this song before our pace group, 13 The Sequel, took to the streets of Burbank, so she deserves credit for this Eminem mention more than anyone else (darn it).

I managed to get to Griffith Park a little earlier than usual, but parking was still a pain because the construction crews have left a lot of concrete columns and orange cones in their wake which has blocked off a large number of my usual parking spots. Still, I got to the training site in time to hear Coach JC talk. The main focus of this week’s run was hydration, and JC made sure we had water bottles on our person this time. For those who need a definition on the word hydration, here it is:

Dehydration: 1. The process of removing water from a substance or compound.

2. Excessive loss of water from the body or from an organ or body part, as from illness or fluid deprivation.

With this being our longest run to date, it’s important that we learn the importance of hydration now instead of later. This was also the week to bring snacks with us as we will definitely need them on the day of the marathon. For the first time this training session, I actually took the time to have some breakfast before leaving my apartment which included a chocolate chip Cliff Bar and some orange Gatorade, so I had a little more fuel in my system than usual. Before this run, I didn’t bother having breakfast before my training runs because, with my belly hanging out over my pants like unwanted luggage, it felt like I didn’t need anything extra.

During his talk, Coach JC reminded us to run single file alongside these concrete columns as cars would be coming in the opposite direction and it was in our best interest not to get run over for no good reason. The big suggestion was that the pace groups run in a single file line because the amount of space on the road between us and the cars was extremely limited. It’s hard enough dealing with the bicyclists who keep claiming that we’re unnecessarily hogging up the road, but automobiles are far more dangerous regardless of whether or not the drivers are talking on a cell phone.

Coach JC also went over the symptoms we can expect to experience if we become dehydrated such as dry or sticky mouth, thirst, headache, dizziness, lightheadedness and constipation among other things. One thing he went over extensively was the color of our pee, something most people don’t talk about with one another. He said that as long as the color of our pee is yellow, we’re in good shape. If it’s not yellow, then we’ve got something to worry about.

When we were kids we dealt with urine by calling it pee, but as adults we soon found ourselves calling it urine. To hear Coach JC talk calling our urine pee brought back a lot of memories that quickly became very vivid. Remember those movies we watched back in elementary school? The people in them had conversations we would never have with one another in real life. Seriously, have you ever had your older brother ask you if you’re frustrated because your penis isn’t getting any bigger? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never ever had that conversation with my brother.

Anyway, after the fast start we got off to last week, our pace group started this run off by walking for the first four minutes. We started off running on last week’s run, but on November 23rd we were back to basics. Whether that’s good or bad is beyond me at this point.

This week’s run took outside of Griffith Park and onto the streets of Burbank, California. For those who have trained with Team to End AIDS before, this route was a familiar one and it didn’t have any hills for us to run up (something that we all broke into applause over). We tried to remain conscious that we shouldn’t run faster than our pace should allow, but we soon found ourselves doing just that. No one needed to point that out, however, because we could all sense it before we reached the halfway point.

We ended up running past an equestrian park, and we were quick to smell the manure that horses had thoughtfully (or thoughtlessly) left in our path. Certain pace group runners started compare it to the smell of fecal waste left by other animals, and I was shocked to hear that horse manure doesn’t smell anywhere as bad as cat crap. I guess that’s what happens when you don’t give your cat any catnip. Anyway, I don’t own a cat, so what do I know?

Another big topic of discussion was the latest Hollywood blockbuster which came out the day before, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Several of the runners, including myself, managed to find time to see it, and we were all very effusive over how much we liked it. And when we weren’t struggling for breath, we also collectively marveled over Jennifer Lawrence’s performance as Katniss Everdeen. Lawrence can go from one facial expression to another in a matter of seconds, and she is never less than believable in this eagerly awaited sequel.

As were running past Disney Animation Studios, Jessica and I talked about how much we love dialogue in movies and television. Jessica in particular thinks that “The Sopranos” is the best show in television history because in between all the killings, there was a lot of talk about all the mundane things we deal with in life whether we’re part of a mob family or not. I still count “Homicide: Life on the Street” as one of the greatest and most underappreciated shows of the 1990’s, and I’m always hoping that I run into someone else who loved that show as much as I did. What else can you say about a show with dialogue like this?

“Homicide: our day begins when yours ends.”

“It’s hard to meet single woman on this job. You meet plenty of widows, but the timing just don’t seem right.”

“There’s no absolutes in life; only in vodka.”

“Blind faith is the crutch of fools.”

“I’ve been in murder police for ten years. If you’re going to lie to me, you lie to me with respect. What is it? Is it my shoes? Is it my haircut? Got a problem with my haircut? Don’t you ever lie to me like I’m Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams!”

“Sometimes I wanna call my wife just to hear the sound of her voice. But I know that five minutes into that phone call, my blood pressure is going through the roof, the phone is sailing across the room and I’m wishing that she’s on a plane falling out of the sky. It’s over. I know it’s over. But I had to replace six telephones before I, I really got the hint.”

Anyway, back to the run�

The Boliver family was back making us snacks and providing us with water, Gatorade, pretzels, antacids or whatever the heck else we needed. Personally, I think I came close to overdosing on those peanut butter and pickle covered Ritz crackers they continue to crank out because I had close to a dozen of them, I think. It was more important than ever on this run to bring snacks with us, but while I did that, those delicious peanut butter and pickled covered Ritz crackers carried me all the way through to the finish line. It also might be part of the reason why my stomach keeps hanging out whenever I put my water belt on. Note to self: Do more sit ups. Do way more sit ups.

In the end, we made it back to Griffith Park in one piece and finished this run like it was no big thing. We were lucky, there was supposed to be rain in the morning and came prepared for it, but the sun did come out and shined brightly over all of us. Will this sunny weather ever leave Los Angeles so that its residents can somehow experience winter? Here’s hoping.

Don’t get me wrong, if it was raining we would still be out there running our buns off. We don’t skip out of training if the weather is miserable, and those of us who ran the Los Angeles Marathon in 2011 (or, more correctly, swam it) can attest to that. It doesn’t matter how hard it rains or how furious the winds get, we keep on running come rain or come shine. All this makes hydration no less important because while we think our body is somehow going to suck up all those little raindrops that cover us, that is never going to be the case. Whether it rains hard or lightly, we always need to have our water bottles with us no matter what.

I felt good about this run. I did manage to get my two maintenance runs in during the week, so I was absolutely prepared for it and the rainstorm which never came. While my knees at times feel like they have dealt with one marathon too many, they serve as a good indicator of whether or not I am landing on the balls of my feet like I should.

Next week will have us running four miles before we move up to double digits the following weekend with 10. However, this run comes right after Thanksgiving Day, and I’m not sure that four miles will be enough to burn off all those calories. I have enough trouble as it is burning the flab off my belly. Heck, when was the last time Eminem had any flab on his body?

FUNDRAISER UPDATE: Okay, so far I have raised $436 and am at 44% towards my fundraising goal of $1,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles. With the holidays just around the corner, now is as good a time as ever to donate as it will help those who can’t afford to cook a turkey, let alone buy one. We’re making great progress, so let’s keep it up!


Related articles:

Kate Bush Never Ran Up This Hill!

Week 6 of 2013 Los Angeles Marathon Training

Day 6 of 2012 LA Marathon Training

The Lessons I Learned from ‘Homicide: Life on the Street’

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