Last week I asked the question “Why not run for a charity this year?” Hopefully you decided this is the year that you will, but the Honda LA Marathon has 65 Official Charities that you can support. So with very broad range of charities how do you choose!
I certainly can’t tell you — and shouldn’t tell you — which charity to support. What I can do is introduce you to them so you’ll have some ideas about what to consider as you make your choice.
I’m proud to introduce to you this week John and Edna Ball National Co-chairs of Team Parkinson.
John was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) in 1983 and began running as a means to fight back against this degenerative neurological disease. Edna’s mother had been diagnosed with the same condition in 1961, when Edna was only 11, so you could that they both have a tremendous stake in trying to help people with the disease, and help find a cure.
Team Parkinson got started by Mary Yost, who saw John running in the LA Marathon in 1999 and she decided that if he could do it, in spite of living with Parkinson’s’ disease, so could she. Mary also suffers from PD. As she prepared herself for the March 2000 LA Marathon, she decided that it would be a great tool both for raising awareness of the impact of Parkinson’s on society, and also for raising money for research to find a cure. With Mary as their leader and the Parkinson Alliance as their parent organization, they raised $51,000 that first year. Team Parkinson has been an official charity for the last ten years.
Team Parkinson’s concept as simple as possible – no dues or memberships, no fundraising limits, and no costly coaching programs – they have helped many athletes who want their efforts to make a positive difference -both those with Parkinson’s and those interested in the community – achieve their personal goals and find a way to contribute financially to the research for a cure to this devastating disease. Anyone can represent Team Parkinson at any race or event around the country as part of a team or as an individual.
Team Parkinson has been very successful over the years at the LA Marathon, raising a total of $1,008,556 in 11 years of participation, and almost $2 million over all. In the words of John Ball, “Team Parkinson is not just for LA anymore; it’s gone global! Thanks to the Honda LA Marathon for making our success possible”
To join Team Parkinson…1-866-822-CURE (2873) www.team-parkinson.orgSeptember 6, 2010
So where do we start? what actually gets us going? Why suddenly do 30% of sedentary people wake up one morning and declare, “I’m changing the way I do things for ME”. Have we been inspired by someone on the Biggest Loser Show? a friend or family member who has run for charity or in memory of a lost loved one, did we notice we can’t see our feet anymore?
Getting started is the very first effort.
Around 50% of LA Roadrunner membership this year will be ‘very first’ time people, most have very little ‘running’ experience and some may have never ‘walked’ around their local neighborhood.
Of course everyone wants to start jogging right away.
Its interesting how soon we forget, when we were 6-7 months old we learned to crawl, then to walk and then we experienced the thrill of running. Too many of us have stopped moving, exercising, eating healthy, and living a quality life. We need to walk before we jog, if you can’t walk for at least 30 minutes don’t try to jog, get back to building your walking stamina first.
Consult your Doctor
If you are new to exercise (walking-running-jogging) please see your doctor, getting a basic physical exam should help you find out if there is any reason why you shouldn’t do jogging. If your Doctor feels running or jogging isn’t for you suggest the Run/Walk program or just the walking program.
This is a good start.
Do you put soapy water in the car to make it go? no, you put in gasoline because this is the right fuel to make it run. Our body works much the same. So lets start making a change in the way you fuel your body. Once you create a regular exercise program, your will notice you don’t crave the ‘junk foods’ as much, you will want to be healthy on the inside as well as looking good on the outside.
Get good Running Shoes.
If you don’t have good running shoes, expect alot of discomfort from foot pain, leg pain, hip pain, lower back pain and other related injuries. Always consult a running shoe expert, there are enough running shoe stores out there with years of experience and experts (store owners) who are often runners themselves. Get that experience and advice, it’s often free with the purchase of the right shoe designed for jogging and running.
Get the proper clothes for running.
Just as you have taken care of the right running shoes, as important, is wearing comfortable clothes designed for running. And that’s not ‘designer’ clothes, just simple functional clothes that feel comfortable to wear and allow your skin to breath and your sweat to evaporate.
Choose a suitable jogging location.
When starting out run on a flat surface to begin with. Avoid running up hills as this will tire you quickly and downhill will put more extra stress on your muscles and joints. Hill running will come later in the training program as you get adapted to a consistent jogging-running program.
Warm up and cool down.
Its always wise to start with some basic warm up exercises to ‘start’ the body up. When you finish do much the same routine to cool down.
Rest and Recovery
I have always said, “You don’t improve when you are working out. You improve when you are resting and recovering.” Always make sure you hydrate after exercise and eat or drink some protein + carbohydrate within 25 minutes of the workout. Get a good nights sleep too!
At LA Roadrunners we will take you from the “couch to the finish line” in a program that is designed to get everyone safely to the finish line. Remember ‘Finishing is Winning’.
Be patient, remember a good wine takes time to mature!
Be good to yourself.
RodSeptember 1, 2010
I’m getting ready to shoot some more video with Rod Dixon. While speaking with him on the phone today, he started regaling me with tales of his races against Prefontaine. So I dug up this clip of Rod going head-to-head with Pre, John Walker and Filbert Bayi at the 1975 LA Times Mile. This is great entertainment, and not only because of the fu manchu mustaches and flowing long hair. Why don’t we bring back this sort of race? With US distance running stronger than it’s been in years, I’ll bet people would come out to watch the top stars duking it out on an indoor track in LA.
PeterSeptember 1, 2010
About the only person who has a stride a meter long is Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man. But he usually only races for 100 meters and at 6’ 5” his stride just walking down the street is longer than you and me. But, if you run the Honda LA Marathon this March you’re gonna make close to 50,000 steps. That’s a lot of strides.
So what can we do to make your strides better? Here’s some things we’ve done in the past to make race day better, and a request to allof you on how we can make 2011 even better for everyone.
And, yes we’ve heard the comments that the Taiko performers remind folks of the tempo drummers in the slave ship segments from the award winning movie Ben Hur.
In closing, we’d love to hear any ideas you have to improve on yours and everyone’s race day experience. So send them onto to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider them for race day in 2011. Thanks for listening.