Sunday, November 29, 2009

K-Swiss shop open for business

Mark Sheehan from K-Swiss, along with Rod Dixon

Runners on the Westside have a new place to hang out--the new K-Swiss Performance Running shop at 2427 Main Street in Santa Monica. This great new space will serve as something of an LA Marathon clubhouse, and you can look forward to training runs, social events and discount days. In the meanwhile, stop by and say hi to Mark and Joe. Tell them the LA Marathon sent you.


LA Marathon on 5,000 calories

Jimmy Dean staving off a bonk with a Carney's Chili Dog at Mile 15

We've been waiting for someone to just get out and run the new Stadium to Sea route, and now it's happened. Our good friend Jimmy Dean Freeman chose Black Friday as the day to test run the new LA Marathon course. JD is a local coach, ultramarathoner and stand-up comedian. Not only did he run our new route, however, but he also sampled some of the great food along the way. What a concept--fueling a marathon with street food the whole way. The culinary highlights included Burrito King, In n Out Burger, Carney's and Sprinkles Cup Cakes. While burning 3,600 calories, he consumed over 4,800 calories and actually gained half a pound on the day. That could be a new record for marathon energy replacement. Including all of his stops for food, his time was 5:21. Jimmy Dean brings new meaning to the term Fast Food.

Jimmy Dean finished the event with a swim in the Pacific Ocean, which I believe will become an LA Marathon ritual for thousands of runners. But we'll always credit him for doing it first. Congratulations Jimmy Dean!

Photo album of the day is here.


Who is Louis Zamperini?

Rod Dixon knew all about Louis, because Louis had run against New Zealand legend Jack Lovelock

Pete finds Louis to be an inspiration

On the day that our Roadrunners and SRLA pace leaders spent time with Coach Pete Carroll at USC, we got a special visit from none other than Louis Zamperini. You may not have heard of this legend, but he has an amazing story and shared a few of his experiences with us.

Louis was born in New York City to Italian immigrants, but moved to Torrance as a child. He became a track star in high school and attended USC on a scholarship. After qualifying for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and finishing 8th in the 5000 meters, Adolf Hitler requested a meeting with the "guy with the fast finish." Once back home, Louis enlisted in the Navy, but his B-24 went down due to mechanical difficulties and he spent 47 days in a lifeboat before being rescued by the Japanese. He was held in a Japanese camp until the end of the war.

His inspiring story only gets better, and you can read more about Louis Zamperini here. None of us will forget spending time with him at USC that day.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

How to survive the holidays

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or an everyday Joe, the season from Thanksgiving through New Year’s can wreak havoc on the waistline – and more. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Treat dessert as a treat. Serve yourself a small portion, and stop there.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meb's backstory

Russ sent me this post today from Meb Keflizighi's brother Hawi. He passionately lays out how much preparation and focus went into Meb's New York Marathon victory. This is a great piece of inspiration.

From Merhawi Keflezighi:

Meb has done his job and accomplished a lifelong personal and generational industry-wide dream. Now it is up to the rest of us to put this achievement in its proper context.

Meb_and_Merhawi_NYC_champMeb's victory in the 2009 ING New York City Marathon is obviously very significant, newsworthy and historical, but it also has a personal element to every individual, organization and other entities involved with Meb (Meb the individual, family, San Diego community, Mammoth, UCLA, Eritreans, Italians, Nike, PowerBar, NYRR, New York City, the Marathon, the running industry, sports media, the running media which has followed Meb for a long time, long time fans, new fans, etc.). With so many affected entities, I don't expect Meb's victory to mean the same thing to everyone.


Monday, November 9, 2009

2010 LA Marathon route: Elevation Profile

Here's the mile-by-mile elevation profile. How fast is this finish? Plus, it will get cooler as we head west towards the beach. If I wasn't working on the event that day, I'd be out there, too!

More route details on our course map page.


Here's the 2010 LA Marathon Route

You've seen a video with some of the highlights of our Stadium to Sea route, but now we've got the actual turn-by-turn course finished. Here's a video we put together to show you the way. In addition, we've got a detailed Google map on the site, complete with icons along the course. We couldn't be more excited for all of the runners in this year's race.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Rod Dixon 1983 New York victory

While watching Meb Keflezighi's inspiring victory last weekend at the New York Marathon, I was reminded of this segment we shot with Rod Dixon earlier this year. In it, he recounts his own thrilling New York victory in 1983. Rod came from behind in the last quarter mile to win the closest race in New York history. I've watched this clip many times, and it never gets old. Try watching this and not getting inspired. I dare you!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chris McDougall in the house

You may have seen my mini-review a couple weeks back of Chris McDougall's terrific book Born to Run. He was recently in Los Angeles and stopped by LA Marathon HQ to say hi. We talked Chris into sitting down for a quick interview. Here's what he had to say.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Qualifying for Boston...In a Dorothy costume

Not only did our Director of Operations Stacy Embretson run New York this weekend, but she set a PR of 3:38:44 and qualified for Boston. And she did it all while running as Dorothy. How much fun is that? Here's what Stacy had to say: "The costume was really the best decision ever as I had people cheering for 'Dorothy' the entire race. Such a fun experience!!"

Let's not forget that our President Russ Pillar also ran New York, just 3 weeks after finishing Chicago. Russ also PR'd with a 4:41:49.

Congratulations to both of them!


Legacy runners gearing up

Once again the LA Marathon will host a sizable contingent of Legacy Runners. This amazing group--about 240 strong--has run every single LA Marathon. 24 straight. And 2010 will mark a quarter century of not missing a single edition of the race. Unbelievable. They've kicked off their training, and "Legacy" Lou Briones recently sent me this photo of a group of them about to head out for a run at the Rose Bowl. Bravo!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

An American Champion in New York

How could you not be moved by this morning's incredible New York Marathon? Both the men's and women's races came down to the last two miles, and Meb Keflizighi's win makes him the first American to win the race since Alberto Salazar in 1982. Furthermore, there were 6 Americans in the top 10, which bodes well for the future of running in this country. Congratulations to Meb and all the finishers in the New York Marathon, including our own Russ Pillar and Stacy Embretson.

Watch the highlights on Universal Sports.