Commentary: Inspired to run — but later

The nasty alarm screamed 5:30 a.m.

"I'm not getting up tomorrow," I growled.

I pulled on workout clothes, met Ken, my Tuesday-Wednesday running partner, and before I could change my mind, told him, "I'm sleeping in Wednesday."

"You deserve it; you just ran a half-marathon," Ken said.

Truth is, I'm sick of jogging miles along the road, running in circles around the track, accumulating tiresome mileage.

Oct. 13's Long Beach Half Marathon was a disaster. I made it to the finish at 2:05, my slowest half-marathon in years. I placed second, good news, since I'm 69, the oldest possible runner in the 65-69 age group. But that's the only good news.

Post-race we jumped into Evie's immaculate white Mercedes to leave Long Beach behind. Only we couldn't. Searching for Pacific Coast Highway, marathon roadblocks sent us in circles. With every circle, I turned a deeper shade of green. Without too much detail, I got sick, daintily enough to save Evie's white car but it was demoralizing.

So, I'm taking the week off.

And just when I'm ready to give it all up, it's time to start serious marathon preparation for L.A., 2014. Jake recommends accumulating up to 50 miles a week, on the road nearly every day. Why not stay home, read and relax on the couch?

Googling "running doldrums" and "what does running do for you," my research uncovered the RirianProject, a self-development blog. It lists 10 Benefits of Running. The list spoke so directly to my own running experience that it almost overcame my fatigue.

1.) Besides cross-country skiing, running ... burns more calories per minute than any other form of cardiovascular exercise.

2.) Running promotes bone growth and production of human growth hormone.

3.) Running reduces the risk of stroke, breast cancer, diabetes and hypertension. It maintains elasticity of arteries since they expand and contract almost three times a much as usual.

4.) Running raises good cholesterol, uses the 50% of lung capacity otherwise unused and boosts the immune system by creating a higher concentration of white blood cells.

5.) Runners gain confidence as they defeat the will to stop and replace it with growing fitness.

6.) Stress relief comes with clearing the mind during a run, solving a problem or working out anger and frustration.

7.) A regular running program's release of endorphins has been used for years to decrease depression, addiction, tension and confusion.

8.) The discipline of running, when you'd rather skip, trains the mind as well as the body, giving focus and determination in all parts of life.

9.) Running on uneven surface contributes to balance and coordination.

10.) With a pair of running shoes, the world's a runner's gym, developing powers of observation and joys of exploration.

The list turned me right around. I recognize the 10 benefits but I'm still taking the week off. Too much of a good thing is bad even it's a real good thing.

Newport Beach resident CARRIE LUGER SLAYBACK is training to run the Los Angeles Marathon at age 70.

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