Monthly Archives: December 2012

Boeing 5K (11) – 2005

November 14, 2005

A few years prior, I had come up with an idea to do a relay run from Long Beach to San Diego, each person (4) running almost a full marathon each (at one go, not separated).  After running the Snail’s Pace Mountains to Sea Relay (where the teams were assigned to make teams even), I came up with a different plan to run teams of 5, matched to be even, and each person running 3 times (15 total legs, with varying distances).

My “new” running partner, Inger, and I came up with appropriate transition places and tried to recruit several of our friends from AREC, TRH, and the Hash to join us.  We did build 2 teams of 5, split them as evenly as possible and decided to do our run on November 12th, starting at midnight.  (Note:  We decided we would start at midnight, so that we could finish at a reasonable hour and then have a good time and not have to rush home to bed.)

The start was at Joe’s Crab Shack in Long Beach, and our finishing spot was Joe’s Crab Shack in Pacific Beach – thus, it was named “Shack to Shack.”

We got a slightly late start – about 12:20, but immediately everyone was excited about what we were going to do.  The hope was that both teams would arrive approximately at the same time to most of the transition areas, which we did on each of the first two legs.

On the third leg, my friend “Bug” (Bob) was running, so I was “picked” to drive his car (the transportation vehicle for our team).  “Picked” in the sense that Bob trusted me to drive his car safely.  The third leg started just past the Huntington Beach Pier and finished in the middle of Newport Beach.  One distinct rule about anytime that I drive is that I don’t even start the car until seatbelts are on…. even though we were going to stop a bunch of times and give Bob water, snacks, etc.  I didn’t care, that’s just my rule!

About 2 miles from the transition, we came to the turnoff for Balboa Island, cross street with PCH is Balboa/Superior.  It hits PCH at an odd angle, such that cars coming up Balboa MAY be able to see the PCH signal lights.   A Jeep coming up Balboa did just that and decided to make a (ill-advised) left-hand turn into oncoming traffic – aka US.

Fortunately, we were all seatbelted, not speeding, and I DID see the car coming, but was unable to stop in time (it happened really fast).  The airbags all deployed, but no one flew through the windshield!  I hit really hard on my sternum, but I was also wearing a camera bag and that deflected some of the blow.

Todd Rose, in the passenger seat, broke his clavicle (and spent 4 days wearing a blinking light on his arm, being immobilized and all).  Chuck, behind me, broke a few ribs.  The accident enabled him to end an 11-year running-every-day streak (in his heart, he WANTED to end the streak).  Laura, next to Chuck, was bruised, and more surprised than anything, because she didn’t see the accident coming.

Bob came running into the intersection 15 minutes later and said, “Hey, that’s my car,” to the surprise of onlookers at Jack in the Box (How could a runner have a smashed car in the intersection he is running to?).  My major injury, though I didn’t really notice until we were taken to Hoag Hospital (only about 3/4 mile away) was the ignition key had snapped off in my knee (it wasn’t IN my knee, but I had a deep cut down the side of my knee and leg – and had a dozen stitches).

The car was completed totaled (as were my awards) and my confidence in driving through that intersection for nearly a year – I kept thinking that someone else was going to do the same thing and it made me very paranoid.

Some of Bob’s friends drove down from Torrance (about 35 miles at 3am) and drove us back.  We vowed we would try again several months down the road (future entry).

I was pretty messed up afterwards (psychologically, of course, but also had some knee pain and a little difficulty breathing from the impact).  On the other hand, I had my own streak to consider – the Boeing run streak, going on about 3 years.

I had no compunctions about walking the course (I had done so after a number of marathons and ultras) and had a less-than-impressive time of 43:05

LA Cancer Challenge 10K – 2005

October 30, 2005

This race would turn out to be the last LACC run that Heather attended.  Before the start of the race, they always made a big announcement about people that inspired them – and Heather was the poster child for success in survival.

I was not expecting a great time – the day before I went to the LA Hash run, which culminated with Drag Racing (no, not cars; people in drag, racing), and I stayed pretty late.  The new course at the LA Veterans Hospital Grounds is two fairly hilly loops, so anything under an 8:00/mile pace is fantastic.  Doing 47:50 is great (not top 10 in my age group great, but I’ll take it).

Shimizu 3M – 2005

October 22, 2005

Didn’t feel too great today on this flat (fast) course in Long Beach and Signal Hill (with a pseudo-health faire at the end).  I didn’t really want to push it, but at the very end, another guy from AREC (who is a few years younger but in my age group) accelerated and thus goaded me to finish ahead of him by a couple of seconds.

I finished in 20:41 and he finished in 20:43, and we both ended up getting medals (2nd and 3rd, respectively, in our age groups).

Boeing 5K (10) – 2005

October 10, 2005

I convinced a large non-Boeing contingent to join me at the Boeing run this month (I think it helped that some people had the day off for Columbus Day and could show up.).  It was also Prediction Run month, so I slowed up at the end in order to come closer to my predicted time of 21:45 (I did 21:37 – well, I couldn’t just walk in to hit the time on the nose, could I?).

Magic Mountain 5K – 2005

October 2, 2005

After a 1-year hiatus, I am back and running this race (still the best deal for a race and all-day admission to the park).  One of my favorite stories is from 2 years ago, when I finally convinced my young cousins, Morgan and Tyler to come and run the race.

After running, we rode just about every ride in the park, then went out to the car to have a beer before driving home.  Before we even got halfway through the bottle, the rent-a-cop came over and said that we “could not consume alcohol in the park” (thought we were in the parking lot) and demanded to see our IDs.  Tyler conveniently “forgot” his, because his fake ID identified him as his brother (who had his own real ID).  Whoops!  The guy said that normally he would have to eject us because we violated the rules (don’t forgot your ID next time, cuz), but we could go back in as long as we didn’t bring the beer in… but we were already headed out of the park.

I should point out (in case someone gets mad with me for “contributing to the delinquency of a minor,”) that his older brother and sister (closer in age to me) and father were always trying to get me to drink real beer (and calling it “near beer”) when I was 14 or 15.  Tyler was only a couple of months off (and also looked as old as I did).

Anyway, in 2005, it seems like the “Magic Mountain” in the middle of the course gets harder and harder to do each year.  It used to be that 20-21 was the norm, and today, I do 22:28, which puts me just out of the running for a medal. =(

Boeing 5K (9)

September 12, 2005

Another Boeing, but a slightly different course.  I mean, essentially we are doing the same course, but the “Western” parking lot is being torn up and they are going to build a new industrial building set there, with construction that will occur over several years.  The organizers are concerned that the intersection with 2nd Street/Westminster (depending on how old your map is determines the name of the street in this area) may be too dangerous to hold the run (I don’t think it is any more dangerous than when we run on the street in the bike lane…).

I don’t think the amendment affects our course very much, but who knows?  I didn’t feel great anyways, so I am perfectly happy with a  22:06 time.

Distance Derby 10M/5M – 2005

August 20, 2005

OK, OK.  So, what the heck… I thought I’d throw in a couple more races… even though I just ran two races two days ago.

In the 10 miler, I managed to break 80 minutes (which is good when you have 90 minutes in between the two races).  I actually felt pretty good through the first 7 miles, but then my wonky knee issue flared up again (maybe all of these races).

In the second race, I did my usual where I walk until I feel better.  The good news is that I felt better sooner than I did last year, so I finished in 45 minutes, rather than in 55 minutes.  The bad news is that the weather was good and lots of competitive people showed up, and neither time was good for even a top 10 in my division finish. =(

Sunset in the Park 2.8M/4.8M – 2005

August 18, 2005

I had one of my worst 2.8 milers to begin.  My knees felt a little wonky and I didn’t push the pace too much.  After finishing in 21-minutes plus, I had only about 5 minutes in between races (after finishing, then walking through the chute and heading back to the start).

In the second race, I felt a bit better (maybe because I “rested” in the first race) and didn’t complement my first race with the worst 4.8M… I actually had a pretty good time (38 minutes)… so maybe the dozen-plus races in the last 30 days ISN’T catching up with me.

Hope for Heather 4M – 2005

August 7, 2005

I want to tell you a story about my friend, Heather.  I met her about 5 years ago, and she was just another runner, and I also hashed with her.  We had a lot in common – both writers, both went to University of California schools – except that she also has a 14 year-old son (whom we have also gotten to run).

On one of our runs, Heather told me about her lack of work, and I was able to find her a very small position with the company that I worked for… so we also got to work together for a bit.

In 2002, Heather was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer, which is basically a death sentence (though the odds of survival have climbed to 1% by 2012)..  Her diagnosis was caught earlier than usual because of another condition, whose symptoms alerted her to the Pancreatic Cancer diagnosis.

The doctors did the Whipple procedure which removes portions of several organs, including the pancreas.  She went through the procedure like a champ and then several months of chemotherapy.  After about 6 months, she was declared in remission… but a few months later, it was back and had metastasized in several other organs.

Heather was the most upbeat person, never complaining about her situation and always willing to try whatever treatment might be the future cure.  The current proposal was a special treatment, only available in Switzerland.  However, it was going to cost $20,000, and she also had to get out there, stay there and recover there.

We helped to put on a 2-mile and 4-mile “race” called Hope for Heather, both a fundraiser for the Switzerland cure and to put on a race (I finished in 32:58, but there were no placings.).  The event garnered $25,000 and paved the way for her treatments there.

Although the success of the treatment was somewhat near 75%, after returning from Switzerland, there was no miracle cure – it even seemed to some of us that she worsened more precipitously after her return.

Ten months later, I put on a special hash run, where we raised money for her son’s college (though since he had scholarships, we used it so he could spend more time with his previously mostly estranged father) and also gave her friends the opportunity to visit her en masse, especially when she was too weak to make any more events.

One week later, she died.  She was 38 years old.