Blog Archives

October 26, 2011

On the go: progress in marathon training

Follow Rachel’s day-to-day training on her twitter and facebook pages and read more of Rachel’s marathon experience every other Sunday in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

By Rachel Luna, Staff Writer
Posted: 10/22/2011 07:15:04 AM PDT

So I guess it would be fair to say that I’ve made some progress in my running endeavor.

It’s seven weeks into my marathon training and I’m still surviving. But I had no idea just how much I’ve actually accomplished.

I flipped through my running log Friday afternoon and finally calculated all the mileage I’ve put in so far – more than 70 miles. I never thought I’d see the day.

I can’t imagine how many miles I’ll rack up by the time the L.A. Marathon comes around next March. And it’s still more than five months away.

Turns out there’s a lot more to running. It’s not as simple as Forrest Gump makes it look. But then again, he was a simple man that compared life to a box of chocolates.

A whole different world – a runner’s world – exists and I’m learning the ropes. And there’s still much more to learn about running. I’ve had several good laughs along the way.

For instance, I decided to run with a small reusable water pouch instead of wasting disposable cups at water stations set up along the routes of the L.A. Roadrunners – the group I’m training with.

I can now say it’s definitely a bad idea to have any liquid in the pouch while running. Nobody bothered sharing this valuable piece of information – but a pouch full of bright red Gatorade did.

Yup, I got to run six sticky miles with my training group that day. Lesson learned.

Also, I’d highly recommend getting properly fitted for running shoes at a running specialty shop.

And here’s why: On the first Saturday training run with the L.A. Roadrunners (a 3-mile run) I didn’t think shoes were that important, so I just ran with my four-year-old “running” shoes. Nope. Dumbest idea I had – besides the water pouch thing – so far.

The next morning as soon as my feet hit the ground after I got out of bed, pain shot through my feet so quickly I jumped back on my bed in agony. I seriously contemplated crawling on all fours or hand-walking for the rest of the day, but both options seemed a little too out-of-reach and ridiculous. So I dealt with all the pain for the following three days. Another lesson learned.

During a proper shoe fitting, a complete rundown of your feet’s biomechanics will be analyzed to ensure a proper fit. I had my weight, height, stride, foot print and walk analyzed to help get me a shoe that would help my feet run in the correct motion.

Who knew so much went into getting a real running shoe? I clearly understand it all now. It’s made a tremendous difference in my running and my feet haven’t had any problems since.

The only problem with my shoes are my laces. That’s right, there’s even a special runner’s way of lacing up. It’s my fault. I forgot how to do it after the saleswoman showed me at the running shop. So I haven’t completely untied my shoelaces since I’ve step out of the shop with them.

All I can do is laugh and move on. The mishaps I’ve had are adding up to a great first-time marathon experience.

I only hope to pass on the things I’ve learned to other novice runners out training on their own and perhaps remind all the veteran runners of their early days when they didn’t have a clue.

I’m just glad I haven’t tripped while I’m out training. That’s one thing I’m good at – I’m a total klutz.

Next Saturday I’ll reach the 10-mile distance with L.A. Roadrunners. The 26.2 miles is getting a little closer. Between now and the marathon mileage, I pray everything continues to go well – and maybe I’ll actually learn how to tie my running shoes.

October 10, 2011

Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon


Rachel Luna, a staff writer at the San Gabriel Valley Tribune is training for the 2012 Honda LA Marathon with the LA Roadrunners.  She will be chronicling her experience with the LA Roadrunners, step-by-step, as they work towards to crossing the finish line.  Read below to see how it all began.  Good luck Rachel and everyone training for the 27th Honda LA Marathon!


Life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon
Photographer drops camera for running shoes


I’ve never been much of a long distance runner – or a runner at all.

In my athletic background as a softball player, running always came as a repercussion – at least that’s the way my college teammates and I thought of it. The less running we had to do the better.

But since I hung up my cleats four years ago, I’m ready to give running a second chance.

Everything I hated about running is getting pushed aside, and I’m starting fresh – in a big way.

Over the next six months I will train for my first marathon with the Inland Empire chapter of the L.A. Roadrunners.

When the opportunity to run in the 2012 L.A. Marathon came along, I jumped at the challenge to do something I thought I’d never do.

Three miles is the longest distance I’ve ever run. Ever. That personal record got knocked out of the way during the first training session – 3.02 miles.

Now in the fifth week of training, any distance from here on out is a milestone.

I initially expected the training to be for elite marathon runners, but it’s far from it. The program is geared to accommodate everyone. And I mean everyone.

The roadrunners offers training groups for all experiences and abilities.

I find myself running among individuals who’ve never run a mile in their life, and others who can rack up the miles like it’s nobody’s business.

And along the way, I’m already developing a new outlook on running.

It’s no longer about running my fastest to stay ahead of the competition. There’s no position to fight for anymore. The only competition is me.

So, I put myself in one of the slower-paced groups. The group is set train at about a 13-minute mile pace with the projection to complete the marathon in a 5:15- to 5:25-hour range.

I couldn’t care less about how fast I run it. If there was ever a perfect time to say it, this is it: It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

It’s pretty nice not having to run so hard to the point that I feel like I’ll keel over on the spot.

My only goal is to cross the finish line (alive and well) and not have to be swept aside by a street sweeper truck.

The biggest obstacle to overcome will be the psychological toll.

The one thing that I did appreciate with all the conditioning running I had to do in college was the mental stamina I built from it.

But if I feel like I can’t go on I’ll just have to remember the wise words of Jenny Curran, “Run, Forrest, run.”

I can’t wait to run the marathon’s Stadium to the Sea route that will take me from Dodger Stadium to the San Monica Pier. The entire course will pass through 24 L.A. landmarks. I’m still trying to figure out if there will be a way to strap a camera while I run. No ideas yet. I can’t help but think as a photographer at all times.

But as for the 26.2 miles, I’ll try not to think about that too much.

I’m just enjoy the running for now and taking the training one mile at a time.

October 4, 2011

David Cook to Run the 2012 Honda LA Marathon in Honor of Brother

American Idol winner aims to crowd‐source $100,000 for brain cancer charity on

Press Release: Los Angeles – American Idol champion David Cook announced today he plans to run his first marathon and launch a fundraising campaign to help find a cure for brain cancer, which claimed his brother’s life two years ago. Cook says he hopes to raise $100,000 leading up to the 2012 Honda LA Marathon on behalf of Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2).

While the Honda LA Marathon will be Cook’s first time completing 26.2 miles on foot, the musician is not new to running or the fundraising scene. Over the past three years, he ran the Race for Hope ‐ DC 5K race to raise funds for ABC2, a non‐profit that provides researchers with the support they need to make critical breakthroughs, and the National Brain Tumor Society. Cook’s older brother’s struggle with brain cancer has provided him with the extra motivation to raise charitable funds for the cause while training for the marathon.

“Running a full marathon has always been a goal of mine, and I’m excited to commit to running the Los Angeles race in 2012,” said Cook. “I’m looking forward to pushing myself physically, and to using the Marathon as an opportunity to raise money for a cause that is close to my heart. I felt an immediate connection to ABC2 and the work that they do in the brain cancer field – I know that my fundraising efforts will give me that extra push I need to get across the finish line next March.

Cook will roll out his ambitious fundraising efforts on, the Honda LA Marathon’s official fundraising platform launched by actor/activist Edward Norton in 2010. Beginning at 9:30AM PDT today, the first 50 people to donate $26 to David’s run for ABC2 will receive an autographed photo. Backstage VIP passes, signed guitars and meet and greets will also be incentives offered during his six‐month campaign for ABC2.

Click here to read the full press release.

SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2015