I had the privilege this weekend to take part in the Catalina Classic Paddleboard Race. Not as a participant, but as a crew member for my brother, John. This race has all the qualities of a great endurance event: committed and enthusiastic participants, an infectious spirit of fun, and a hard, hard test of personal fortitude. How about 32 miles on a paddleboard from Catalina to Manhattan Beach? The winner, Tyler Anderson, finished in just over 5 hours. Amazing. But even cooler, for me, was the pre-race competitor’s “meeting,” which was in fact a low key beach barbecue with a cooler full of beer. Most of us slept on our chase boats the night before the race. When all of the competitors paddled into the beach at 5 am before the start, there was a huge bonfire burning to keep everyone warm. At the finish line, a large crowd was cheering on all the paddlers as the exited the water next to the Manhattan Beach Pier. My brother had an impressive race, and all five of us on the chase boat had one of the most enjoyable weekends we could remember.
That’s right, registration for the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon opens tonight at midnight. By now you probably know all about the new date–March 21st, 2010–and the new Stadium to Sea course. All that’s left is to swing by our new-look website and register. While you’re there, check out the video we just completed, which is a lot of fun.
We’ve at last enabled the comment feature of this blog. Because we want to build a community around the LA Marathon, it’s important that all of you have a voice. Ideally, our relationship is a conversation, not a one-way monologue. If you feel strongly one way or another about any of our posts, please let us know. The more you, our readers, participate, the more valuable the blog becomes.
It’s that time of year again. That’s right–you see the LA Marathon off on the horizon, and you realize it’s time to get off the couch and get on a program. What to do? How about our Roadrunners training program? Last weekend was the orientation for the 75 pace leaders that will guide our 1,500 runners along their journey to race day. It was a day for all of us to reconnect in advance of the program, and to get updated on all of the exciting changes taking place around the LA Marathon. There were some new faces in the crowd, but many of our leaders have known each other, and run together, for years. While introducing ourselves, we each had to say something about ourselves that none of the leaders had heard before. There were some winners! How about “I’m a wild animal trainer.” Or, “I’m wearing compression shorts under these sweats.”
I found this article interesting, and somewhat counter-intuitive. Do you have an opinion on this? Are your knees better off from all of your running…or worse?
An article in Skeletal Radiology, a well-respected journal, created something of a sensation in Europe last year. It reported that researchers from Danube Hospital in Austria examined the knees of marathon runners using M.R.I. imaging, before and after the 1997 Vienna marathon. Ten years later, they scanned the same runners’ knees again. The results were striking. “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval,” the researchers reported. Only one of the participants had a knee that was truly a mess, and he’d quit running before the 1997 marathon (but had been included in that study anyway). His 1997 knee M.R.I. revealed cartilage lesions, swelling and other abnormalities. In the years that followed, the knee became worse, showing augmented tissue damage and more serious lesions. His exam prompted the researchers to wonder whether he would have been better off persisting as a runner, because, as they speculate, “continuous exercise is protective, rather than destructive,” to knees. MORE…
While on vacation in Marin County this summer, I had the good fortune to get a guided tour of the Dipsea Trail from my friend Steve Romjue. If you’re not familiar with this famous route, it’s the home of the Boston Marathon of trail runs, the Dipsea Race. Next year will mark the 100th running of that event, and I can tell you after running the trail, I’m going to do whatever I can to get one of the coveted 1,500 slots in the race.
All of us here at Marathon HQ are huge fans of Pete Carroll and the good work he’s doing in LA. So you can imagine how psyched we were to get this photo of Pete during a post-practice meeting the other night.
As I train for the Chicago Marathon, I’m working with nutritionist Matt Mahowald of New Performance Nutrition. Following his program has been enlightening. I’m learning, and losing, a lot. Something like a pound per week. And my runs are that much easier. One of the most useful things Matt has turned me onto is his excellent Whey Protein Powder. Almost daily I’m rocking a low-calorie, high-protein smoothie. It goes like this: