1898243_10152298793053669_1405461191_nI joined my running group, Alpha Running, back in…I think it was October just after the Long Beach half marathon. For various reasons related to USC’s football season, races I was running, a need to have a social life for a bit, and some personal drama that is thankfully now behind me, I haven’t been a regular participant in the Saturday runs.

I went out to Griffith Park bright and early this morning to meet up with the crew and do an easy 9-mile run. And boy am I glad I did AND I can’t wait to get back there next Saturday and start hitting Monday track nights regularly. It was so great to get a nice run in. Camaraderie is as important as solid and measured training, IMO. Being around a bunch of people that share your particular brand of crazy is comforting.

Our run this morning included a climb up the peak known as Mt. Hollywood, or Godzilla, as it was being called today. It wasn’t so bad, to be honest. (Which is good since I am running the San Francisco Marathon. I need to learn to LOVE hills.)

Tomorrow is the Los Angeles Marathon. My original plan had me running it this year. But after those five half marathons in six weeks and 13 total last year — I needed a break. Not from running, per se, but from training for greater and longer and faster distances. I needed to enjoy the Holidays, have a social life, take a few weeks off. Physically I could have handled continuing to train. Mentally I was not in the right place.

I was supposed to run the San Diego half marathon tomorrow. That was on purpose. I thought if I was in town and not running LA, I’d be pissed at myself. I am, a little. I’m not running San Diego, even though I am registered for it because I have to be committed to work and  be responsible. Sometimes being a grown up sucks. While I am freelance, sometimes I am lucky enough to have so much work that days off just don’t happen. And because I am freelance, I don’t get paid until I finish projects. I like working, I like finishing projects, but most of all, I like getting paid. So I am writing this weekend.

But back to the LA Marathon – yeah, I wish I was running it. I really do. But I also realize that the timing was not right for me and I respected the marathon distance enough to not enter into it half assed.  When I run San Francisco in July, I want to RUN it, not run/walk it or run the first 13.1 miles and survive the second 13.1 miles.

I will run LA next year. I will run the San Francisco and Long Beach Marathons this year. And I am with the right running group to do this, as these are the three marathons on Alpha’s annual calendar. Everything happens for a reason.

Instead, I’ll fight the road closures in and around my neighborhood and head out to Mile 10 to meet up with the Alpha Running crew to cheer on those who are running the marathon. (Assuming I can get there, that is!) And then when the roads reopen and I can get to my gym on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood (it doesn’t open until noon tomorrow because the marathon runs right past it), I will jump on a treadmill and get a 4-5 mile run in and dream of my own Stadium to the Sea course in 2015.