Today We Ride!

So today I decided to ride instead of run. The 2015 LA Marathon was this morning! My goodness, it was beautiful! My friend, Eric, and I went for a bike ride down the course to the finish line with intentions of cheering on the runners, whether they were teammates of ours or not. Well, there we a few mishaps throughout the day, but that makes for a great story!

I got off work at 730am and headed home to get ready for the event! Showered and put on my team running shirt, packed my backpack and put my padded shorts on! Sounds like I’m ready, doesn’t it! Well, I was but my bike wasn’t… My bike tires are flat and I don’t have the correct pump for it!

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible”

Matthew 19:26

Running late, as usual, Eric finally shows up to my house and we load up. On our way to LA we hit a Big 5 so I can buy a pump that will work on both of our bikes! We drove into LA and found a side street by a Starbucks to leave the car and start our ride!

We are well into our second mile and I hear a loud clinking noise. I looked back to find Eric walking his broken bike over to the near-by curb. Runners are passing us as we sit on the side of the route cheering us on! Haha! It was so funny how the roles turned. Quick thinking lead us to the decision that Eric just needs to buy a better bike! I let him take my bike to go get the truck and come back to pick me and the broken bicycle up. We headed to the nearest bike shop to pick out a beauty!

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The bike shop owner saw what a rough start we were having so offered a cold drink while we found the perfect bike! Since we were in a rush to get back, it didn’t take too long. We picked out a beauty, Eric tried it out, and back to Starbucks we went. Finally back on the road, riding the course and cheering the runners on like planned. We were passing people that passed us an hour prior. It was fun to see their faces when they recognized we were the ones struggling. Here they were, mile 20 and seeing how the struggle is always temporary. They started picking up their feet a little higher and were singing along with my music. It was awesome seeing all the different ages out there and hearing their stories!

We finally made our way to the finish and found our girl, Jessi! She finished running her very first full marathon! I don’t think our small family of runners could have been any more proud! To celebrate, we parked our bikes at Buca Di Beppo and had pasta, pizza, and beer!

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It was such a lovely ride down to the beach, hearing inspirational stories, and eating to celebrate our loved ones accomplishment! Now… Well, now Eric and I have to ride back to the car. That ride was slightly down hill the whole way… That meant our ride back was going to be just as long, but slightly up hill the entire way. All I could think was, ‘Thank God we are parked by Starbucks!’

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They Keep It Run Hundred

Every Monday I see my friend Jessi and she asks me the same thing, “are you working tonight?” And for the first time in a long time, I said no. With my new free Monday night, I joined her with her community running team. This is a group that runs the streets of LA at night. Even when it’s freezing cold, they still show up and run. While running all I could see was steam clouds all around our heads from everyone’s breaths.

I am so glad I joined her last night! It was such a wonderful experience! This running group was full of so much energy, and the artistic experience was so satisfying! Every week they run to a different artistic mural, sculpture, building and such! It’s so intriguing to learn about the local up and coming artists and really see what their personally putting out there!

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While out running the streets, I learned a few things about running at night that I don’t think I would have ever guessed without experiencing this specific run myself. The first thing I learned was, how beautiful the city of Los Angeles is. When I think LA, I think of crazy people in the streets of Hollywood, tall buildings, and crowded highways. With the help of Eric and BlackListLA, I saw the art in the streets. I witnessed the power of positivity and self expressions! It was amazing!

“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up. Furthermore, if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

The second thing I learned was the person wearing too much Bengay was actually a genius! When we arrived at the Disney Concert Hall to get ready to start our run I noticed a few people were completely surrounded by the aroma of minty tingly-ness. While I passed certain sour smelling corners of the route, I realized the over powering smell of Bengay or Icy Hot would have been much nicer. Plus, my muscles probably would not have any objections.

The third thing I learned actually left me with a new goal for 2015. I learned that headlamps aren’t just good for spotting cracks in the concrete, but also for spotting homeless people sleeping in the way. As sad as it was, it’s the truth. We were running through downtown Los Angeles where the population of homeless is very high. The streets are lined with tents and what looks like piled up blankets. These are their homes, and as much as the group does run through the area, they are still very respectable of them.

Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

Proverbs 14:31

I enjoyed joining them so much that for now on, if I’m not working on Monday nights, I’ll join her and the rest of her crazy running team! I plan to show up with plenty of Bengay lathered on, warm clothes, and a backpack full of food for the people we run past. It’s one thing to feel sorry for all the children in other countries who don’t have food, but how about feeding the people in our own backyards when we can. So for now on, I will bring food, not just in my car, but along with me when I run with BlackListLA!