Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Loss of My Phone's Innocence

While at Target today picking up toilet paper and paper towels (like one does on the busiest shopping weekend of the year), I left my phone at the register.  Wade (the hero of our story) called my phone but alas, it went straight to voicemail, and therefore I determined that it was stolen. I ran back and asked the cashier if she saw it, and the young couple at the register said "we gave it to a dark lady in a black shirt with a female friend in a striped shirt, she said it was hers." I suspected that the male part of the young couple was somehow in cahoots, because he was being kind of a jerk.

Meanwhile, Wade was in the parking lot yelling "did anyone find a phone?!" He used Find My Friends and my little blinking face icon was tracked to the Sears parking lot, meaning the phone was turned back on so it was a) possibly not stolen or b) someone realized it was an iPhone 4 and not worth the hassle.  I was getting VERY DRAMATIC in Target (so that the dude I suspected of cahoot-ing would tell his cahoot-ers that they took the phone of a crazy person who was obviously not going to give up) and was about to go look at security tape even though having a picture of the person who took my phone would give about a .00001% probability of the chance of me ever again seeing my actual phone.

Wade called my phone again and someone picked up! It was a dude, and therefore neither a dark lady in a black shirt nor her striped female friend.  The guy said he was at Sears and oh, whoops, he took my phone, he thought it was his wife's.  I told the nice sir at Target who was gathering the "troops" (one security guard and whoever's in charge of the surveillance tape, as well as something called "TPS") that we were off to Sears, where we were handed my phone by a guy who apparently thinks if he finds someone's phone he should probably smash the back of it before he gives it back.  Wade thinks the ultimate torture was not the smashing of the phone, but that it had to go to Sears.

There is no moral, except that I should stop leaving my shit everywhere, but we all already knew that.  Fin.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Running Down a Dream

Almost exactly a year ago.
On the eve of my first solo half marathon and my fourth half marathon in a year, I'm reflecting on how much my relationship with running (and by extension, my relationship with myself) has changed over the years.

I used to hate running.  Hate.  With fiery rage.  When other students were running the mile around campus in high school, my friends and I were trotting behind everyone, possibly hiding in corners smoking cigarettes and gossiping about our fellow drama nerds.

Even after college, I wasn't into it.  I needed to lose weight but I got so discouraged because I would go less than half a mile and get winded.  Hated running.  Hated. Fiery rage.  Also it was so boring.  I mean you're just running.  No stimulation, nothing.  Treadmill?  Even worse.  Even when my stories were on the tv box at the gym.

I did my first (and prior to this time last year, only) half marathon in New Orleans in 2005 with my friend Brandon.  We trained and fund-raised with APLA, and it was a great time (anything is fun with Brandon), and a great entry into the world of training for and running long races.  Well maybe not a great entry, as I didn't run another long race until 2012.  But I definitely had a sense of pride and accomplishment after that race.  I did this.  Go me. 

Retired now.
When my friend Mel and I decided to do the Hollywood Half in 2012, I was a little nervous.  I hadn't been serious about running for years or actually ever. We signed up in October, which gave us six months to train.  I designed a training regimen, which I promptly ignored.  My dog Bear and I trained up to nine miles (he has since retired from the long distance running circuit) and then I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.

And the run was rad.  There's nothing like crossing a finish line.  It was like getting a tattoo - as soon as you're done, you think about the next one.  I signed up for a 10-mile with my friend Josh and the New Year's Eve half marathon with Victoria.  The 10-mile was uphill for the last two miles, which was hellish but exhilarating. For the New Year's Half, we missed the start (typical LA traffic, typical LA fashionably late girls) and arrived just as they were deflating the arch - such a pathetic sight.  We decided to run anyway, even though we weren't being chip timed, and we finally caught up with the walkers around mile two.  I don't think I've ever been so happy to see (and then pass) a group of people in my life.

Dodger Stadium at night!

What I remember most about that race was when we had finished and were walking back to the car, Victoria told me about the film idea she had come up with during the race.  She had an outline and everything. I tried to remember what I thought about during the past two hours or so of running, and the answer was surprising: nothing.  Glorious nothing.

Anyone who knows me knows that I pretty much never stop doing, thinking, analyzing, moving, considering, questioning.  The revelation that I could go an entire two hours moving, yes, but not dwelling on anything long enough for it to stick, floored me.

When I'm running, my thoughts go something like this:  "I wonder what kind of dog that is.  Try to breathe four strides in and four strides out.  I love this song! Does that bicyclist see me?  Oooh, that's a nice house.  What flower is that?  It smells good."  Totally present, totally in the moment.  My brain is close to empty.  Which is wonderful.

Shel and Shel
My last half was at the end of February, with Shelley and her dad.  The Ventura half marathon - 13.1 miles along the glorious California coast.  I ran with Shel and her dad for the first six miles or so and then ran the last seven alone, hit my stride listening to that Bruno Mars song on repeat and beat my PR with a time of 2:11:07, which I totally wasn't expecting.

My friends and the LA race community as a whole have also helped me find the fun in running (funning?) - between wearing leotards, legwarmers and shiny tights with Victoria and Marko for the Awesome 80s run and crawling through mud with Dana, Shannon and Sarah for the LoziLu (#ladyrun) Mud Run.  Coming up is the Vampire Run, in which half the runners are vampires and half the runners are victims and the trails converge and the vampires "turn" the victims.  (Apparently it's no longer acceptable to just have a normal 5K, not that I'm complaining.)


But my best run of last year was somewhere on PCH between Santa Cruz and Los Angeles.  I was driving back from visiting friends up north and saw a path on a bluff over the ocean (see below).  Instinct took over.  I pulled off the road, put my running clothes on (crouched behind the open car door next to the highway), laced up my shoes and took off.  Waves crashing all around, ocean reaching forever, nothing but me and my turquoise shoes...that run was everything.

Simply irresistible.

I didn't used to like solitude, and now I crave it.  And I didn't used to like running, but now I love it.  I'm nervous about running the race by myself tomorrow, but I'm also really excited (my only fear is that I won't wake up in time!). Something has shifted in me, and I'm so appreciative of my legs and my head for keeping up.