San Diego Rock'n'Roll Marathon

Immediate post race notes:1). I really did not think it was going to be this hot. I reckoned the marine layer would be the same as in LA. I wore the wrong shirt, left my hat behind, and didn't have on any sunblock. Dumb, dumber, dumberer. 2).…

Honk 4 Juan

Juan is running his first marathon. He's little-kid-at-Christmas excited. He's not sure where to get his bib or what to do. He's come with a whole crew of family, and they are staying at the same hotel as I am. I give him directions to the…

Labyrinth

The labyrinth at Serra Retreat, a Franciscan Retreat in the hills above Malibu. I spent the afternoon there with an old friend.I'm one of the many who confused a labyrinth with a maze, maybe because of the old story of the Minotaur (examination…

Valley Crest Half Marathon, training run

A friend is running the Valley Crest Half Marathon on June 13. This will be her first half marathon, so we decided to do a training run on the race course today, up in the Topanga Hills.It's not a mountain ultra, but it's a helluva lot hillier…

LA River

I've been running and cycling the LA River bike path for a few years. Just like anything repeated over and over again, it can sometimes be a rather boring run. The good news, though, is that all you ever need to do to view something in a completely…

Crack or Cactus Gardens?

He says he has three days clean. His eyes are rolling around in desperation; they look like they're gonna bust out of their sockets. His entire body is tight but his jaw is tightest. He's grinding his teeth, grimacing, jerking and twitching,…
Buddha in Griffith Park

Morning Buddha

Wednesday, May 5, 8am. Mile 1.72 of an 8 mile run through Griffith Park.These days I'm paying attention to form - trying to find that spot where my cadence is what I want it to be, my pace is what I want it to be, my feet are hitting the ground…

LA Marathon Elite Women

The LA Marathon has a battle-of-the-sexes challenge. The first man or woman to cross the finish line wins a $100,000 challenge bonus. The women get a head start of 18 minutes 47 seconds, a handicap calculated by comparing the average times…
LA River, 2010

Stormy Wednesday, LA River

Wednesday morning 8am, April 28, 2010. In between storms, along the LA River. 6.56 miles. The storm clouds, the concrete and the grey gave everything a very cold, urban look. There's a certain alone-ness to these morning runs. The traffic…

Birthday Morning

The last time I actually celebrated a birthday was when I turned 36, back in 1996, 14 years ago. I was drunk, as always. My buddies took me to Jumbo's Clown Room, the skankiest of all Hollywood strip clubs, where Courtney Love got her start…

Julia Mallon

I love this photo for the obvious reasons: the juxtaposition of the powerful, beautiful runner on the right and the man in the wheel chair looking over his shoulder at her as he passes behind her in the opposite direction. He's not an LA Marathon…

LA Marathon

I expected it would be challenging. I expected I would be exhausted and hurt all over. I had worries about 26.2 miles since the furthest I'd ever run was 20 miles, twice, and the second was not so much fun. I devised the usual plans to trick…

Pasadena Half Marathon

The idea, originally, was that I was going to run a marathon before I turned 50. And that was it. Eventually, though, I remembered how much I loved to run, and it became about much more than a simple, single accomplishment.Around the time…

A Warm Rain's Gonna Fall

I was raised in the desert. I'm not so much of a rain guy. Yesterday evening, though, I was out walking down Sunset, and it was a really warm rain, so instead of dashing from under one awning to the next I decided to just stroll and get soaked.…

Vancouver Island, 1994

I've been to this place twice. The first time was during a family vacation in the 70s. I remembered it as cold, desolate, and stunningly beautiful. I remembered enormous driftwood - not just a piece of wood but the entire tree. I remembered…