Did you know that once a week, anyone can run laps inside the Coliseum? That’s the massive circular-bowl stadium in LA with an oval Olympic-standard track around its playing field. The home field for the USC football team, it housed the 1932 and 1984 Olympics. The Brooklyn Dodgers played there when they moved out west. It hosted Super Bowls I and VII. It is a National Historic Landmark.
Every Tuesday morning they open it to runners. I have spent the last couple of days posting about "fixing" my Profile for the new year, but I haven’t told you where I have been. This morning I was running laps in the Coliseum at an RBF reunion set up by Bex, who now lives in LA. Also there were David, Rich and Jeanne. It was an unbelievable feeling to be inside the huge historic structure, standing on the broad composition orange-brown track with the bright white lines separating the eight lanes. I looked up and all I saw was the majestic sweep of stands rearing back all around me, except for one open end of the stadium where there were columns inside an arch housing two larger-than-life-size statues of semi-clad perfect Olympian athletes, a male and a female.
I was running fast laps with David. Rich, because he has a marathon next week, was taking it easy. Jeanne was running with Bex, but they appeared to be doing more talking than running. They used to work together and I guess they were catching up. Besides, Bex has a marathon in two weeks. David and I seemed to have some sort of competitive thing going, and we were passing the other RBFers practically every lap. David is doing a marathon in a few weeks, and he seems to be in tip-top form. He was almost impossible to keep ahead of.
It was warm and light at 7 am. This was a special workout and I was so appreciative of Bex for arranging this, and glad that the other RBFers could respond to the special invitation also. Despite the early hour, the stadium was alive. Several runners were circling the track. Other athletes were pounding up and down the stairs in the stands.
Because our laps seemed to be a little slow despite our hard running, David and I decided that the venerable old Coliseum track was a quarter mile in length, like all American tracks used to be, not the slightly shorter 400M, which is the length on almost all tracks today. We had done several repeats and were lining up to start another one. Bex and Jeanne were coming around the last curve towards us. I didn’t know where Rich was, I think he might have been sitting over by our bags, quaffing water. At that moment the alarm went off and I woke up. I have to tell you, I just hate it when that happens.