This must be some kind of sign. And yet another reason for 2010 LA Marathon participants to get excited. For the first time in 75 years, the Sunset Strip will be repaved. As we can attest, having run that stretch a couple times ourselves, the pavement is in sorry shape. How sweet will it be to run that section–Miles 12-14–on nice new asphalt? Read all about it here.
We posted this before Thanksgiving. But it’s such good advice that it bears posting, and reading, one more time. This time of year can be something of a nutritional minefield, so consider the following pointers from our team. Rod Dixon, LA Marathon Director of Training, and Matt Mahowald, LA Marathon Nutrition and Supplement Consultant, offer their tips for enjoying the holidays – and holiday menus – without sabotaging your diet, exercise or training routine.
Never show up hungry to a holiday party or meal. Make sure you have a big breakfast and enjoy at least two good meals or snacks before the feast. This will minimize the amount of overeating. For instance, 12 almonds and an apple will help to quell your appetite so that when you get to that meal you don’t overeat.
The most important item during the holiday season is water. Water helps your body synthesize carbs. It helps with the high and lows of blood sugar that come with desserts and sweets that we don’t normally have in our diet.
If you are going to attend a holiday party and plan on drinking alcohol, consume a full eight to 10 ounces of water in addition to a beverage of your choice. This will minimize the amount of alcohol you drink.
When eating appetizers or pot luck style, the best choices are vegetables, lean proteins and fruits. If you’re designated to bring a dish to a gathering, bring something that’s a healthy choice for yourself. You never know what’s going to be presented in front of you and you always want to have good options.
Fill your plate modestly, and wait 30 minutes after you finish before going back for seconds. This will allow your blood sugar and insulin levels to adjust. You may find that you won’t really be hungry for that second plate.
Treat dessert as a treat. Serve yourself a small portion, and stop there.
A good cardiovascular workout for 2-3 days after your holiday will help deplete excess storage of carbs and fat that you picked up during the holiday.
If it’s possible, throw in an extra two days of 30 minute cardiovascular activity. Remember that walking is just as good as a slow jog and easier on your body.
Consistency is key to your exercise program. Don’t let the holidays derail you by missing too many days in a row of your routine. Don’t try to make up what you’ve missed by overtraining – just get back on your plan.
Remember that it is a holiday, so do let yourself enjoy. The following day wake up and get right back on your food plan and exercise.
Back on Sunset in Echo Park after a challenging first 8 miles
Doing a TV interview with Fox on Hollywood Blvd.
Mile 15 in front of the legendary Dan Tana’s in West Hollywood
Now joined by Theresa, on the run down Rodeo Drive at Mile 17
Mile 18 at the Century City Mall. Is there a bigger Christmas tree in LA?
Mile 22: The girls find time to pose with Jimmy Dean Freeman at Peet’s on San Vicente
Almost there! Mile 24 on the downhill finishing stretch
Bring it home girls! They cross the finish line at Santa Monica and Ocean Avenue
Today I had the pleasure of following along vicariously as the LA Marathon’s Ginger Williams and Stacy Embretson ran the entire Stadium to Sea route in full costume. Assisted by our volunteer coordinator Manon Levenberg and joined by Theresa Brennan for the second half, they said “Happy Holidays” to about a thousand people on the route. Fox 11 stopped by at a couple locations to get interviews with them, and as if that wasn’t enough of an expedition on this cool and windy day, they stopped at least every mile to shoot photos and document the experience. A huge and creative effort in the name of holiday spirit! I’ll just call them our guerilla goodwill team. Hopefully, you were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of them on the street today. If not, you can see the photographic evidence on our Flickr page.
After the finish, all they could talk about was how amazing this route is. We knew that, of course, but you can’t replace the experience of actually running Stadium to Sea (in a costume!).
The LA Marathon PickupPal site is up and ready to go! PickupPal is an online carpooling network that connects you with other LA Marathon participants from all over the greater Los Angeles area. With Pickup Pal you can meet runners in your neighborhood that have the same great plans for the 2010 LA Marathon weekend. Find carpooling matches on PickupPal for the two- day Expo at Dodger’s Stadium, the NPN LA Marathon 5k run and the LA Marathon. Carpooling will also be available in the future for the Win Forever Dinner.
“As a Legacy Runner, I am a member of an elite club that is forever closed to new members, an exclusive club whose sole but inflexible requirement for sustaining membership is that the 26.2 mile course be faced, and completed, every single year.” I penned these words many years ago, and did so with a great sense of pride. I felt an even greater sense of pride when Richard Riordan, then Mayor of Los Angeles, paraphrased these words in his testimonial to all Legacy Runners in 2000. As we approach our 25th LAM, we all know that we have to do whatever it takes to be at the Starting Line, and then run to our Finisher’s Medal.
A couple of examples of “whatever it takes” at the LAM: In the inaugural LAM in 1986, my wife Neva had to jack it up the last two miles and then sprint to the Finish Line in order to qualify for Boston – by 4 seconds! And keeping the streak is not easy, year in and year out. In 1995, I ran the LAM 4 weeks after having my gall bladder removed. In 1996, I had to fly down from my field assignment in Iceland to keep my LAM streak alive. In 2000, I had to delay the start of a field assignment in Portugal in order to run LAM XV. In 2008, I was really ill with the flu – didn’t matter. I’m sure every single Legacy has faced major challenges somewhere along the line, but our common thread has been to do whatever it takes to finish. Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes. Godspeed to all Legacies!
You saw my post a couple week’s ago on Jimmy Dean Freeman’s heroic run of the LA Marathon course while stopping for food at high-calorie establishments all along the route. It was a legendary effort that has turned Jimmy Dean into a viral video star. Here’s the grease-stained footage.
Snacks should consist of a carbohydrate and fat! A good guideline is 15-20 grams of carbohydrate accompanied by a serving of fat (9-10 grams) i.e. 12 almonds and an apple would be an example. Organic, all-natural energy bars work well also, in a pinch when you may have not thought ahead. NPN energy bars are perfect!
For our own Theresa Brennan, who just completed the Santa Barbara Marathon on Sunday in 4:33:21. All of her hard work in the office has been complemented by the roadwork necessary to train for a marathon. She joins a growing list of marathoners in our office, and we couldn’t be more excited for her. Bravo Theresa!
I’ve been thinking lately about the return of simplicity. This is a trend that I’m seeing across many areas of our culture. In response to our all-digital, made-in-China, mass-produced world, people are taking a left turn and opting for the old-school approach. Witness the whole DIY/handmade craft movement on display at Etsy.com. Or the massive popularity of fixed gear bicycles. Even a sport as simple as surfing now has the Alaia board phenomemon, and, surprisingly, vinyl albums are actually gaining in popularity.
So how do we, as runners, as marathoners, fit into this movement? Of course, there is the growing popularity of barefoot running. But in the bigger landscape of sports, does the broad-based growth of running represent a back to basics approach to recreation? Running is, after all, the original sport and the oldest fitness activity. I’d like to think that people all over the world are discovering the simple pleasure of going out for a run. Would you agree? I’d like to hear from you if you have an opinion.