The live experience of being surrounded by thousands of runners, standing in the cold, with the sun just beginning to rise, all eager and excited to get moving feels hallucinatory. And that’s before I took any product. Unlike most professional sports, running is the only sport that I know of that allows regular people like myself to participate in a top-tier event alongside some of the greatest in the world. You will never see anyone play a quick game of basketball on the Lakers court after Lebron heads to the locker room. It’s truly one of the most inclusive physical experiences I’ve ever witnessed.
Over the course of my training, I’ve been intentionally only using OFFFIELD products to get me to the marathon and past the finish line. As one of the founders of OFFFIELD, I wanted to challenge myself and our products to see if they can deliver on the science in real life. The most exciting part was testing our new THC infused High Performance Sports Drink. As the company guinea pig, mistakes were made along the way.
Five days a week I only used our CBD and CBG infused products. Our Enhanced Hydration Mix and Athletic Energy Gummies were the foundation of my nutrition for every single easy, tempo, and speed training runs, including strength training three days a week. At no point did I take any other supplement or hydration product. On Sundays (my long runs), I would test a new variation of our High Performance Sports Drink. There were a lot of highs, and a single low.
One Sunday, I was preparing for a 13 mile run. It was nice out, and I was really looking forward to it. This time, I was testing a new THC emulsion and had to incorporate all the cannabinoids myself into a blend of our drink. I put in 5mg of THC, 10mg of CBD, and 5mg of CBG. I mixed it all up and chugged it down before putting on my shoes and heading out. As soon as I drank the last drop, with the bottle still pressed to my lips, I thought to myself “I misread the dosage.” I looked at the emulsion label. Yup, I just drank 50mg of THC. I have never consumed that much THC in my life. I was a little panicked. I asked my wife what I should do. She began to laugh hysterically, “good luck on that run.” She was no help. I put on my shoes and went out.
3 miles in, I began to notice how beautiful the trees were. I mean, they were gorgeous. Swaying gently in the breeze, with so many different shades of green, yellow and red. I never noticed how incredible the trees were on this path… That’s when I knew the effects were taking hold. I was having a great time. I got a rush of confidence that I’m going to really enjoy the rest of the 10 miles ahead. I finished my run and was lit up like a christmas tree the rest of the day. The next morning I woke up, and I was still very much feeling it. I got very little work done. But hey, it’s all in the name of science.
Eight weeks before the marathon, we produced a smaller batch of ready to drink cans through our Offfield Labs program. It was a great way to have a baseline for athletes to test the product and share their feedback. I stuck to just that formula for the remainder of my training, and it alleviated any future mistakes from happening. Each sunday, I would crack open a High Performance Sports Drink and head out for my run. They were some of the best runs of my life.
Although my training was a success, the week prior to the marathon I caught a virus from my son. It was so bad I couldn’t eat solid foods for five days. I lost eight pounds and was unable to taper the entire week. My doctor advised me not to run. It cleared up two days before the race and I began to carbo load. I trained for this. I knew what I was capable of. I was running.
The morning of the race I was pumped. I didn’t sleep the night before, nervous that I would miss the alarm. I was out of bed by 3:30am and out the door by 4:30. I met up with my brother Alex, who was my training partner and test subject along the way. I could not have asked for a better person to take on this challenge. He was up for anything I threw at him, and he over delivered with motivation and positive energy the entire way.
The sun was just starting to rise as we began to line up, lighting up Dodger’s Stadium to our left. Everyone around us was throwing off layers of clothing, swinging their arms and legs all over the place, and taking their last big breaths before go-time. Alex and I toasted with our Offfield Labs cans, “Don’t forget to enjoy it!” And in unison chugged them down. I then howled at the sky, and an older woman standing next to me patted me on the back and said “you got this.” I love that lady.
Since we were in the open corral, our race started with a 200 yard walk to the starting line. No training could prepare me for the crowd. Thousands and thousands of people of all walks of life, smiles from ear to ear, all doing the same crazy thing: running the Los Angeles Marathon.
At the start of the race, I split off from Alex. I was trying to hit a faster pace. So we high-fived and gave each other a “see you at the finish line” hug. I was off. The first two miles were strange. Too many people. All running very slow. I was scared to sprain my ankle trying to navigate through the blob of activewear. I thought to myself, “is this going to be the entire race?” Then at mile 3, two things happened. The crowd began to thin out, and the drink started kicking in. I could feel it in my face, from smiling so hard.
Going up a hill in downtown Los Angeles while a band was playing Japanese war drums, I felt an overwhelming wave of gratitude rush over me. I was running through my home town, feeling healthier than I’ve ever felt in my life, surrounded by beautiful people from all around the city, and on my way to see my family cheering for me some miles ahead. This is a side effect of the drink I’ve had before, but this time it was amplified by all the buzzing around me.
At mile 4 I was in the zone. I was feeling good, not overdoing it, enjoying the sites. There were so many more spectators than I expected, and everyone was incredibly nice. For a moment, I was a bit puzzled by a little girl who set up a refreshments stand. She had orange slices and a big jar of Vaseline ready for any passers by. I did a double take on the Vaseline, as one gentleman came up and took the jar, scooped a healthy portion out, stuck his hand down the front of his shorts, thanked the little girl, and ran off all in the span of 15 seconds. I thought to myself, “Did I just see that?” Immediately after, a woman grabbed the vaseline jar and proceeded to help herself. “Ok, then. Let’s focus on the road.”
At mile seven I was greeted by friends, the Silver Lake Track Club, and my co-founder Todd. They had some incredible signs up, which gave me a big laugh and a huge boost of energy. I was really enjoying this part. I was very much feeling the effects of the High Performance Sports Drink, and rewarded myself with two Athletic Energy Gummies. It was surreal as we started running on Hollywood Blvd. I’ve been on Hollywood a thousand times in my life, but this time I was running with hundreds of people around me in the middle of the road like a confusion of wildebeest. It was invigorating.
As I approached mile 13, I saw a huge sign with three bold letters on it, “FUR.” My last name. It was my sister in law, with my nephew and niece. They were so excited to see me, it made me even more excited to see them. I gave them all sweaty high-fives as I continued down the road. For a moment, I felt selfish for not stopping and hanging out for a while, but then decided it was ok. I’m in a race. They’ll understand. The High Performance Sports Drink being a very introspective substance, I began thinking of how proud I am of my brother. He’s improved his health so much over the course of our training, and now gets to show off in front of his young family. They’ll be inspired by his achievement for years. It was a very cool feeling. I then thought of my own wife and kids. I couldn’t wait to see them at mile 16.
By mile 15, the thought of seeing them seemed to be the only thing to get me there. I was beginning to feel the slog of the run. Thankfully it was all downhill to get to the 16 mile marker where they were waiting for me. I was beaming when I saw my son, with a whistle in his mouth, so stoked to see his papa. I gave him a big sweaty hug and kiss. Todd, who somehow traversed through traffic to see me again, handed over another can. I needed it. I gave one more wave before I continued down the road and into Beverly Hills. It was a nice moment to be running in the Los Angeles Marathon, drinking a cannabis product that I made in California, as I was passing by the Beverly Hills Police station that I was once detained in for having cannabis on me almost two decades ago. Times have changed. Big time.
At mile 23, I needed another can but Todd was nowhere in sight. We didn’t plan for the miserable turn around the Los Angeles Marathon implemented in Brentwood. Rather than continuing down the road to the beautiful ocean, the route did a u-turn and went back to Century City. It was by far the worst part of the race. I no longer felt the excitement of going from one unique part of town to the next. The signs and faces of the spectators (although incredibly kind and beautiful) were the same. And the hills absolutely sucked. I stopped for water for the first time. I drank it slowly, took out some gummies, and gave myself a little pep-talk. “You got three miles left. That’s it. So you might as well soak it in, because it’s almost over.”
I slowed down and began to focus on my breath. I was grateful for being able to do it. I was confident that I would finish. I was ready for it to be over. I could see the finish line.
As I approached, I was blown away at how many people there were. The roar of the crowd was constant, as one runner after another crossed the finish line. The support and the love was real. The second I stepped across the threshold, my phone rang. It was my wife. She was right there to my left. “I saw you finish! I’m so proud of you!” She yelled into the phone with my son by her side. I smiled back.
It was a high I’ll never forget.