Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2011 Los Angeles Marathon Lunacy

  When I was putting my race itinerary together for 2011 I had no intention  of running the L.A. Marathon.  It was two weeks after the Copper Canyons.  My body would be banged up both inside and out from Mexico. Plus I didn't want to give any money to it's crooked owner Frank McCourt

L.A. was the site of my first Marathon back in 2000 I was 21 years old.  I ran the race in a pair of beat up $20 shoes from big 5  wearing soccer shorts, a jersey and a rain poncho.  It was the wettest L.A marathon ever and  I was amazed at how many people were out the sidewalk in pouring rain out to root us on.  Los Angeles is giant city of strangers, but on this day it felt like we were a community of friends.  The support was amazing  and almost brought a tear to my eye.  Since then I ran the race in both 2006 and 2007,

This year my sister had been training hard and the L.A. Marathon was to be her first time running 26.2.  I was excited for her.  Their was no doubt in my mind about her ability to finish, it was just a matter of doing it and I looked forward to rooting her on at the finish line and had no plans of running it myself.

About 6 weeks ago I got an email from Luna Sandals (Barefoot Ted) asking if was going to running this year.   I told Ted what I thought about the race and that I was also could not afford it.  He encouraged me to run and said he had me covered if I changed my mind.


I figured I could hobble to the finishline in under 3 hours  and if all went well 2:45 or better would be realistic on that course.
My main goal however would be at least to finish before all the Barefoot runners, with hopes of cracking the top 50 overall.

Fast Forward to Last Friday

The most important thing in my life last week was NOT the L.A. Marathon.  My nephew Lucas was turning 7 and it was time to celebrate.
Friday morning he had his party with friends at Kid Concepts
(A giant indoor jungle gym, I was the oldest kid there)

It was his B-day party and if  my nephew wants to wear a tutu more power to him.

They had a bunch a costumes sitting around.  My nephew put on the one he thought would bring the biggest laugh.  Eventually a few of his friends joined him.  Much to the delight of the girls at that party who would scream as the  ballerina's approached. 

I think my Nephew Lucas may be trying to emulate his Uncle Pat

Fairy Dude
(Taken at Badwater 2009 I also saw him there in 2010 and would be I'll  see him again this year)

Or maybe he was trying emulate this dude who runs Badwater each year his tutu.  Whatever the case may be if my nephews smiling thats all that matters.

Even his older brother got caught  up in the act
(this will make a great black mail photo in about 5 years)

Mom, myself and my sister

 I take it for granted most of the time but I am very lucky to have a close family

My funny looking Nephews

I love the little buggers with all my heart.


After Friday's  party with friends .  Saturday morning it was time to have some fun with the cousins.  The boys had to go to their Dad's house in the afternoon so we decided to do whatever the Birthday Boy wanted before noon.

What was his Birthday wish you ask?

To do Homework? No

Watch the news on Television?  No 

Go to church?  No  (I don't think he even knows what that is)

Food Fight.

That's what he wanted and thats what he got.  Joined by myself  my two nieces his brother and eventually my sister (she was glad she joined in and first to sneak off to the shower) we totally made a mess of the back yard.


about 20 whipped cream pies with cheriies and sprikles on top, chocolate and strawberry syrup, corn, apple sauce, chocolate pudding, marshmellows, diet soda, and some pastries,  

Thomas nailing me with a bowl full of corn.

Guess who shoved the pie in his nephew's face?
(insert maniacal laughter here)

We finished the fight by soaking each other with some shaken up soda.

Who needs a shower?

It might have been even more fun than the food fight.  I was more than happy to hose off the family

The Birthday Boys turn

Yo Lucas,  Don't spray the dude (Cousin Mike) with camera spray your Uncle Pat instead.

It was only fair that I let the kids get their retribution.

Training for what? He does not know, but I do. lol

I really should be better a beer pong than I am.  I think I started my training to late.  I don't want this to happen to my nephew.  One of the presents I got him was beer pong game for kids.  (no beer involved).  One day he will learn what I have been grooming him for all along.
(by that time it may even be an Olympic sport)

Porky Pooper
(just what every kid needs)

What a good Uncle I am.

I had a blast with my family and I think my nephew had a morning he would not soon forget.  I was bummed that the boys had to leave so early but my sister and I had to scurry over to the L.A. Marathon expo to pick up our bid numbers.

We drove out to the L.A. Convention center (whoops) and were about to pay for parking before a security guard informed us the Expo was at Dodger Stadium.  (My Bad) It's been a few years since I ran L.A.
Go Angels (just thought I'd throw that in there)

I was the only one at the expo walking around barefoot.  A few people  jokingly asked me if I was going to run the race that way.  "Are you kidding me?"  "I'm gonna run in my Luna Sandals, of course."  at least that's what I thought was gonna happen. The skies were looking ominous and the Expo was outdoor's  and we didn't really want to get dumped on.

Wayne and I

While doing  a quick stroll on our way to the the registration tent gathering free samples and electrifying our urine with crazy sports drinks we came across the booth for the  United States Track and Field Association.
There I saw a familiar face Wayne Joness the head of the road running division in Southern Ca.  I personally consider myself a M.U.T. runner (Mountain, Ultra Trail) than a raod runner but not today.  Wayne is real nice upbeat guy who I really respect.  I told him that I had signed up pretty late and could not get into  starting coral (meaning I might have start the race behind thousands of people adding multiple minutes to my finishing time.)
Wayne totally hooked me up and it pays to be a member of  the USTAF.  He came with me to registration and talked to a lady at the help desk informing her of my qualifying times hoping that she could give me a sticker entitling me a coral closer to the starting line.  All the stickers for the sub 3 hour coral were gone but I got into the sub 4 group.  It doesn't sound like a big deal but this meant if I got their early only a few hundred people tops would impede me  at the start.
I was stoked having this sticker meant I could get a little bit more sleep that night and not have to stress out  meandering through crowd at the starting line.  I had brought a bunch flyers for the Hermosa 24 with me for my buddy Christian Burke.  USTAF thought the event sounded cool and let me leave a stack of entry forms on their table.

Wayne said he would be out on the course at mile 22 and I looked forward to seeing him out there

Thanks for your help Wayne.

While I was in Mexico a few weeks earlier my sister strained her Achilles from a combo of wearing fancy shoes and doing stairs.  She had only ran once since then and did it in lot of pain.  Wanting to out due the continuous stupidity of her beloved brother she still planned on running the race.  By this time everyone in our small  family told her not to  run but me.  I wanted her to make the decision for herself.
I asked her how miserable she was not being able to run the past few weeks and then to imagine not being able to run for the next 6 months.  She's pretty tough and I think she could have grinded through a death march of race and she was fine with that, but the high probability of being injured long after the race was a stupid risk to take.
 When we got back from expo We agreed that she should put her running gear on and go around the block a few times to see where she was at.
5 minutes after leaving she was back with her decision.
She would not run.

She had reluctantly made the right choice and I was proud of her.  Her day will come in June at the San Diego Rack N" Roll Marathon.

Race Day

Race starts at 7:20 A.M. I think.

I awoke at 4:45 (no alarm) feeling pretty good.  I made a couple cups off coffee had about 4 peices of fruit 2 pieces of toast, ate a peanut butter and ginger jelly sandwich and made another one for the road.  My buddy was picking me up at 5:30.

Forcast 100% chance of rain.  I took a look outside No rain.  I was prepared or so I thought to run in bad weather but I really didn't want to stand for an hour or so before the race getting peed on from the heavens.

Luna Tattoo
Guess what part of my body this is?

(Nope my butt is not that tan)

It's my arm.

Original Luna Sandals, with a simple tape job

Gear for the race would be the Usual,  Moeben arm sleeves, Cep Compression on my calves,  and my USTAF hat and shorts (No Shirt). Oh yeah of course I had my Original Luna Sandals on my feet 

I don't run often in the rain.  When I do it is barefoot (on sand) and without a shirt (so long as the temp is above 45)  
I have ran through water many times in my sandals but had yet to wear them in the rain.
Today would be a learning thats for sure.

My buddy Mr. Dilg came to pick me up right on time (I bribed him with deck of Monopoly Deal a game were hooked on) and we were out the door and up to dodger stadium lickidy split (about 22 miles away).  As we neared the stadium the 110 freeway was a mess

 (how the hell can they get 50,000 fans into a Friday night baseball game during rush hour traffic yet they can't efficiently get 20,000 runners to the starting line on a Sunday morning at 6 A.M ?)

 The entrance to the stadium I wanted to take was closed and  we would have to get on another freeway to get in the parking lot, most likely another hour in traffic

"No Way". 

At the last second we got off the freeway at the closed entrance I jumped out of the car and decided to proceed on foot.

I did'nt mind having to walk up the hill to this relic of a baseball stadium which build by on land stolen from the poor by some greedy white crooked white people from the East Coast
Kind of like the owner of the L.A. Marathon.
(I though I'd throw in a little history for ya)

I made it up the hill and near the starting line with well over an hour to spare.  The Sun was rising yet the skies  were getting darker (dun dun dun dunt)

I Started chatting with this real cute girl who was also wearing CEP Calf sleeves and guess what? we wore the same size Ladies Small (cough) Men's Elite.  Anyway it was her first marathon and she was a mix of excitement and nerves.  I gave her a few words of encouragement and we parted ways.  Perhaps I should of listened when she told me her name (dumb ass) I would like to know how she finished.

I thought about sneaking up into the "A" coral (I was in "B") but it was filled with wheel chair racers and they would'nt let runners in till the last minute.  I was worried that I would get caught and sent to the back of the B coral at the last second.

I went where I supposed to and shuffled my way to the very front of my coral.  At this time I was wearing a big sweat shirt with a trash bag over it.  It wasn't raining yet you could tell it was coming soon. Soon after the wheel chair racers started racing I found a crack in the barrier separating the A and B corals and slithered up front just below the giant cardboard L.A. sign that is carried every year

Stadium to the Sea

The Course looked really cool.  Other than the logistics of parking and getting picked up the point to point course was a great idea.  My game plan for the race was pretty simple.  I had wanted to go out at below a 6 minute mile and try to hold on to that as long as I could.  My personal best is 2:37 pretty much exactly a 6 minute pace but that was on a much more difficult course, in perfect weather with a healthy body.  

L.A. Marathon 2011 Starting line

About 10 minutes before the race Started up Strolls Danny Westergarrd (one of my Idles whom I will be pacing him again at Badwater this summer and competing with on the same team in the Ragnar Relay in a few weeks). Randomly Dan introduced me to the guy next to him Gabriel Flores, 1998 winner of the Badwater.  Cool.
Dan had used his pattended Westergaard shuffle to sneak up to the front.   Race time was quickly approaching so far no rain (but that wouldn't last).  By this time the elite women had already taken off (at the L.A marathon that have prize for the first finisher with the elite women getting a 18 minute head start)

it was now time to ditch my sweatshirt (they used to get donated to charity but now that Frank Mccourt is the race director I bet he's wearing it right now, that bastard)

After a quick rendition of the Star Spangled Banner it was time to run

It really helped starting in the front after 100 yards of running (not 5 or 6 miles like years past) I was able to run free.
Through out the first few miles everything was going as planned .  I was comfortably running an easy sub 6 minute pace.  The body felt good (my ribs were not a factor) and the sandals felt great on my feet. I saw a few familiar runners and a couple people recognized me.  I shared a few words with some dude and we basically had the same initial plan "let's go fast and get as many miles in before the skies erupt."

15 minutes into the race it began to rain.

The rain really wasn't a factor at first and even made the run more enjoyable.  I had no wet T'shirt to (restrict me) and the blood pumping through my veins was keeping me warm.  The wind however was playing tricks on me as I ran through city.  It kind of reminded me of that smoke monster from  "Lost"  slithering between the buildings.  I'd come around corner and BAM head wind., I would turn another corner going a different direction and BLAMO that same damn head would get me again.

By about Mile 5 my sandals began to feel loose.  My lack of running in wet conditions  had become evident.  Normally when I run in my Luna's I lace them somewhat tight for distances 10k and below but if I'm going farther I where them looser around my ankles.  At first I was too stubborn to tighten them worried about the 20 to 40 seconds it may take, but eventually I gave in.  (I should have tied them much tighter at the start).  this bought me about 1 mile of  being content.

The grip on the bottom of my sandals was handling nicely but on the top things began to get a little more interesting.  Since coming home from Mexico I scrapped a layer of dirt off the leather, and then did a really half assed job washing them (worried that water may mess up the cow hide).  There was still quite a bit of dirt embedded on the foot bed. The combination of heat from the friction of my foot and water from the rain caused this dirt to become an ultra slippery layer of silt on the top of my sandal.  Each step I took my foot felt like it was slipping a little farther forward and back as it stretched  out my laces.

I was now running a little over a 6 minute mile.  Every step I took I couldn't stop thinking about my feet.   My body wanted to go faster than my feet would let me and it was rattling my nerves being hyper sensitive about each step I took.  Something had to change.  I had to get this mud of my sandals but that would mean taking them off and then relacing them, adding up to 2 minutes to my finishing time.

Time to go Barefoot.

Shortly after passing Mile 8 I pulled over to the side of the road and unlaced my sandals.  A large crowd was looking at me kind of like "ah poor dude's not gonna make it."  As soon as my sandals were off I was back on the course flying down the hill.  I received a large cheer from the crowd and had a big smile on my face.

My initial plan was to wipe my sandal's off on the backside of my shorts and put them back on after a few miles,
I am way to stubborn for that.
It wasn't likely that I would let myself  stop again to lace back up (unless perhaps I was leaving a trail of blood.)  Right off the bat I could feel abrasion with the coarse asphalt and wasn't sure if me feet would hold up.

Although I do almost all my training barefoot, about 85% of it is on the beach, 10% on the track, 4% on the strand and 1% on asphalt. Of that whopping 1% asphalt training it is usually between an 8 and 11 minute mile Not  anywhere close to the 6 minute mile pace I desired.
Running on the sand has made me a total forefoot striker.  At the beach my toes strike first curled down digging into the ground, compacting the sand preparing it to push off on as my heel gently settles in.
Running barefoot on asphalt reguires more of midfoot strike giving the foot more surface area of the ground which helps distribute the force of the impact. and prevents damage to the foot (blisters).

If I had known I was going to run barefoot I would have put in a few miles prior out the streets to gain some muscle memory of the stride.  During the race my feet were somewhat numb from the cold(numb foot dumb foot) which enabled me to still land mostly on my forefoot which really was not a good thing for my health.

Shortly after

What the Hell have I got myself into?

Looks like I'm in for an adventure.  My speed definitely slowed down now closer to a 7 minute mile than a six.  Lot's of people were passing me which was discouraging.  However the response I got from spectators was overwhelming positive and helped fuel my desire to persevere. 

link to Julian on cnn

About mile into going barefoot  (trying to figure what I am doing and desperetly needing some confidence in my descision) My buddy Barefoot Julian Romero snuck up behind me.  Julian is by far the best Barefoot Marathon runner I have ever met and amoungst the very best in the whole country.  He almost always finishes under 3 hours.  Most of the time he runs with a smile on his face and is totally up beat guy.  His goal that day was 2:45 which means about a 6:15 mile by this point in the race around mile 10 he was right on track.  
My running instantly improved in his presence.  I think he was pretty stoked to see me barefoot.  Jullian  even showed me some of the benefits of being barefoot at one point even heading to the side walk to go enjoy the texture of  the Hollywood walk of Fame.  

After  few minutes running with him he introduced me to the guy on his other side  "Pat I'd like to introduce you to the winner of the Pasadena Marathon" and Then itroduced me as the Palos Verdes winner.

After a few miles Jullian began to put some distance between him and I.  I could kind of keep up on the flats but when it came to downhill he was blowing me away.


Deja vu

Up comes Jullian from behind (how'd he get back there)  anyway he proceeds to introduce me to the person on hns other side "Pat I'd like to introduce you to the winner of the Pasadena Marathon"  Huh wha, wha, wha, what.  I did one of those turn your head double takes.  Now I was running along side the female winner of the race.

Somewhere around mile 14 or 15 I lost Jullian for good.  I would find out later he finished in 2:45:46
Well done my friend.

Back to the race.  I was grinding through the miles and the rain didn't really bother me.  I stayed mostly in the center of the street running on the painted lines when I could.  At some point I could see a group of cheerleaders on the sidelines off in the distance.  I was in West Hollywood and was pretty sure those weren't girls.  What they lacked in athleticism and sexiness they made up for in spirit.  I gave them a holler as I passed but was careful not to stare to long fearing the unpleasant view of a high leg kick.  They put a smile on my face  and also made me run away at an accelerated pace..

All through out the race the people on the sidelines were pretty awesome.  They were stoked to see a barefoot runner.  cheers  of "Way to go Barefoot dude."  helped keep me motivated and they were relentless.  I even heard one girl yell the I was first in the hairy chest division (I'll take any accolades I can get)  I didn't really expect to see any friends on the sidelines but ended up seeing about 20 people I knew plus another 20 or so who cheered my name as I passed.  Thank you to everyone out in the rain for your support it really makes races like this a special occasion.

My pace was steady (ya steady because it was slow) and it seemed like thousands of people were passing me but I was okay with that.  My goals kept changing but mostly I now just wanted to finish sub three hours which meant I only had to run the final 5 or 6 miles at a 7:30 pace which my body was pretty comfortable with.  I saw Wayne at mile 22 as planned.  He gave me a big cheer (I bet he was surprised to see how slow I was and more surprised to see me barefoot.)

With about 2 miles left to go in the race the rain was really comming down. (it turned out to be the wettest year ever)  my pace  had  slowed  to over well a 7 min mile.  I was crusing along looking forward to the finish when up strolls  Jimmy Dean Freeman.  It's pretty amazing when your running a race with 20,000 others and you keep comming across friends.

Anyway Jimmy looked pretty beat. (yet he was gaining on me) He was on the verge of a PR, and running with a real enthusiatic girl who seemed to be fueling Jimmy with good vibes.  Seeing him gave me a little boost of  adrenaline and competitive fire.

Jimmy's course preview from last year.

After sharing a few words of encouragement I took off.  Might as well  finish strong.  After about a mile at an accelerated pace I thought I had seen the last of Jimmy, but all of a sudden there he was. "Dog Gamn it" 

So once again I took off down the final 1/2 mile homestretch along the coast.  there I saw my mom sister and nephews standing in the rain cheering me on.  I gave them a wave and a big smile as I dashed to the finish line.

Jimmy Dean setting a new PR

With about 50 yards to go Jimmy came screaming past me.  I guess I could have tried to cross the line in front of him but at this point all I could do is smile as I watched him achieve his personal best.  Jimmy is areal good guy and I was pround of the dude.

Happy to be done

 I was still warm from running and figured I would be with my family (jacket waiting for me) in a matter of minutes.

the walk out of the finisher coral seemed even longer than the race.

Within a few minutes  coldness started to take over the body.  There were plenty of mylar blankets which I quickly grabbed.  My teeth began to chatter and within 5minutes of finishing I was miserable.  

I had no cell phone and no rendezvous point so I figured I would start walking to where I saw them and bum a cell phone from  a good Samaritan along the way.

In order to do so they had us corralled in on both sides for what seemed like miles before get out and find my family. Along way I was handed a Gatorade (I wasn't thirsty) and came across a girl handing out bags of salt and vinegar chips (My favorite) She wanted to get rid of them so I grabbed as many as I could (about 8 bags) while holding my blanket, sandals  and my drink.

Next came a relentless group of photographers trying to take my finishing picture.  I had no desire to set my crap down.  Eventually I gave in when a girl insisted I put my stuff in a tray she was carrying.  Well the gatorade popped soiling my chips and made a big mess. I went to pose for my picture but the couldn't see my race number because of my blanket but I was too frozen to move it. I was getting grumpy and didn't retrieve anything from the tray.  On my way to leaving the coral I tried to find medical support for some kind of warm fluid but their was none to be found.

I finally got out of the coral (I felt like I was no closer to my house than the finish line) I was getting close to hypothermia (teeth chattering nonstop)  to cold to bend down and even put on my sandals. I kept walking back around to the finish line.  I borrowed a cell phone along the way but got no response from my family.  I figured my family would be walking towards me along the way (and they tried to do) But when I got to the end it was barricaded for absolutely no reason..

At this point some old lady saw me suffering and was very concerned about my health and would not leave my side.  I used her cell phone and got a hold of my sister.  They had run into the same barricade and had to double back and dangerously across the course.

The old lady was real sweet and gave me an additional mylar blanket.  On the way back I looked for medical once again but could not find any.  At one point there was about a 6 inch deep stream going through the road.  I stopped and stood in in for a minute because my feet submerged in water felt warmer than having cold air blown over them.

trading in my mylar blanket for a my a mountain dew sweatshirt. Because I sure love mountain dew  
(I think the last time I had one was in the 90's)

About an hour after finishing the race I was reunited with my family.  At that time I was probably within 30 minutes of needing to go to the hospital.

It was Disgraceful how ill prepared for the rain the people in charge of the LA marathon were.  All the volunteers along the course and at the finshline I really do appreciate and I thank you for you services.

My beef is with people in charge.  They had no contingency plan for rain.  It's not like they are volunteering their time out of the kindness of  their hearts.  The race is help to make money and at $150 a person with over 20,000 competitors they made quite a bit, 
I found out later that coral was made extra long to force us into a Marathon expo where we would spend more money.  Nobody was going to a stupid expo in this weather.

I am lucky enough to be somewhat fast and was able to maintain my core body temperature during the race.  I feel real bad for the people who were out there for 5 plus hours and then were met with the fiasco at the finish line.

I am so glad my sister did not run the race, I would have been worried sick about her.  Plus I really appreciated and needed her aid after the race

Look him up and throw away the Key.

I have never liked Frank Mccourt and I feel that he should be fined and never allowed  to host a race In the city of Angels do to his neglegence at the 2011 Los Angels Marathon.

Frank Mccourt made his money in Parking lots.  What a suprise the cost of parking at Dodger stadium has gone up from $8 to $15 under his ownership (and you can't even tailgate).  Mccourt says it was to provide better service and pay for additional parking attendants.  Getting in and out of the stadium is horrible and with those kind of increases he could be paying his attendants $100,000  a year.   

So far he's got my vote for Douche bad of the year!!!!

We got to the van I rode in the front seat (I never do) to get some faster from the heating vents
The car ride home was torture as my feet thawed out the pain set in.  I had about ten different blood blisters on the bottom of my feet that I could not feel during the race.  I was gritting my teeth punching my hands together trying to distract myself from the pain.  My nephews were in the back so I had to bite my tongue to keep from cussing

Usually when I get home from a race the first thing I want to do is take a shower.  Not today I felt like I just took a a 4 hour shower (including the time after the race)  I didn't feel dirty and I just wanted to veg out.  I poured myself a bottle of  Arrogant Bastard, took a shot of bourbon, and grubbed down some pita's an hummus followed by 4 burritos.

As the afternoon progressed and the libations took over the pain subsided and my spirits rose.

Later that night I drained a few ounces blood from half of the blisters on my feet before going to bed.
My feet the next day
The leather on my sandals became real stiff.  And I 'm excited to put them back on some day soon in sunny weather

 I really wanted a fast time in my Luna's but sometimes things don't go as planned.  I think I made the right decision going barefoot.
It was an adventure i will never forget.

Spring Training

The last two years I have headed out to AZ to watch some spring training baseball in the desert sunshine. My plan this year was to go watch at least 4 games in 3 days, play a little disc golf, maybe do a little trail running and see some friends.

My initial plan was to head out at 5 a.m. the day after the race, but because the storm was heading East all of Mondays games would be called off. So I posponed my trip till Tuesday.
(good thing because my feet needed another day to recoup)

The weather forcast kind of sucked for L.A. but In Pheonix it would be about 75 and sunny. (sweet)  I wasn't going alone, I met up with a long time disc golf buddy Jerry Davis who offered to drive.   I met Jerry about ten years ago playing competing on the tour and in in a weird synchronistic twist of fate found out he is the son of my mom's old boss.  Who was the Superintendent of school's  in Manhattan Beach whom caught me sneaking out of class one day in High school but let me slide.

A good Sign

On the way out to the desert we caught glimpse of a kick ass rainbow.  going 90 on the freeway I reached my camera out the window and snapped this picture over the top of the van.

Then I realized it extend all the way to other side of the vehicle.
(much easier to snap a picture)

Palm springs

Looks more like Colorado to me.

We kept driving all the way straight to our first game 
AZ Diamondbacks VS CL Indians
ARizona's new Spring training Stadium
Salt River Fields

Beer + Baseball + Sunshine 
Happy Pat

My shirt only stayed on for a few minutes and there were girls in bikini's near by.

Gambling sucks!

I had a Dollar on Ketchup to win.  At the last second Relish slid into home for the win. I took this pic so that we could authenticate the winner.

I think there was like 5 home runs and the Indians spanked the D-backs.
(I lost another Dollar)
Arizona's new stadium was cool but nothing special.  For $8 we sat out on the grass in left field.  

After the game was over we drove all the way across town to the  Royals park to see them take on the 

Once again we sat on the grass (at least for a few innings)tickets cost $7
The Stadium had the feel of race track in the south.  Everything was painted white with those big red white and blue Doylley things all over the place
Angels 13 Royals 5

The Angels played well and I won back 1 of the dollars I had lost earlier in the day.

It was the first night spring training game I had ever been to. By the time it was over I was pretty famished.  I had been up since 4 a.m. eaten almost nothing and had drank more than my share of beer.  By about 11:30 we got to our hotel and I was asleep shortly after midnight.

 Up bright and early and headed to Shelly sharp for quick jogging round of disc gold (ooch).  My feet were still pretty tore up, my ribs ached but it was great be playing some  golf for the first time in over a month.  I played barefoot shot pretty lousy but was still able to win a  $1 
(back to even on my bets)

After golf we drove directly to Tempe Diablo Stadium to catch the Angels take on the defending  world champion San Fransisco Giants.

Home game

$6 dollar lawn seats  $4.50 Pale ales,  the Angels shutout the Giants 5-0 and I won another dollar.
It was a glorious afternoon.

We had considered seeing a night game but got presented with a better offer.

Maria (Caballo Blanco's chick) offered to treat us to some PF Chang's.  Although I live right next to one I had never been, I wasn't going to pass up this opportunity for  good food and to see someone I hope will be a life long friend

On the way back from the game Jerry and I had some time to kill so we did a little trail running at Papago park.  I put on my Luna Equus sandals and shuffled my feet and snails pace.  For some dumb reason I took my camera.  


Might as well take some dumb pictures

I called Maria to confirm our time.  It turns out it wouldn't just be the three of Us Caballo would be their along with brothers Nick and Jamil plus a few kids from their running club who had just come from running a Papago as well.  (Copper Canyon reunion party less than 3 weeks after the race)

I really didn't start to miss anybody yet but it was pretty cool to see everyone.  Dinner was great.  and the experience was way better than seeing another Baseball game.  I found out Caballo is planning a ball race for the fall and Nick and Jamil had been practicing.   Thank you Maria for bringing us all together and making Jerry and I really feel welcomed out in the desert.

Then next morning we once again we got up early to play Disc golf.  After another quick round at Shelly sharp we headed to Camelback Ranch to catch the Dodgers play the Rockies.  Along the way we made a quick pit stop for some beer.  I had been hankering for some Stone.  But the gas station only had
only had
Fizzy Yellow Beer

Myself being classy as you surely know by now if you read this blog really had no choice but to by 
"the Champagne of Beers"
and check out the new marketing campaign 

Barefoot women
"Perfect marketing for dumb ass like me"
How could I say no

For once we got to the game early and 4 tall cans later we were in the front gates
Lawns seats $6  (I told them I was a student Shhh!)

The weather was too nice the beer was too conforting and I drifted of into dreamland during the 9th inning as the dodgers erased a 5 run deficit and won the game 7-5 with a walk off home run costing me 1 dollar.

It was a real fun 3 day trip.  When we left the stadium around 4 p.m. it was 75 degrees and sunny.  By the time I got back home to L.A. it was raining with the temperature in the low 50's and dropping.

I'm done typing for now.  

Next up Ragnar Relay