Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Pavement for Sunset Strip Portion of Route

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.


Monday, December 28, 2009

How to survive the holidays, revisited

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.

  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.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Cheer, from Stadium to Sea

7:30 am: "Brrrr. It's cold out here!"

Mile 4 in the downtown section of the course

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!).

Well done, Stacy, Theresa, Ginger and Manon!


Friday, December 18, 2009

Carpool to LA Marathon events with PickupPal

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.

Click here to sign up!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Jimmy Dean's 5,000 calorie run: Here's the Video

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.


New Performance Nutrition Tip of the Week: Snacking

What is the perfect snack?

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!

It's Never Too Early to Start Carbo Loading

Here's Russ Pillar, our President, in Boise, Idaho about to have lunch today. We're glad to see that he's already loading up for next year's New York Marathon.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Congratulations Are in Order

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!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Back to Basics

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 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.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Give the Gift of Endorphin

OK, we all know someone planning to run the LA Marathon, right? But that person may or may not have already registered. So what about purchasing them a gift certificate good for one entry into the 25th Anniversary event? You can actually do that, starting this weekend. We'll have plenty of certificates for sale at both the Santa Barbara (Saturday) and Las Vegas (Friday and Saturday) Marathon Expos. We can take credit cards or cash, and we've got everything pre-packaged in LA Marathon envelopes. If you're not in either of those places, then by all means stop by the new K-Swiss store at 2427 Main St. in Santa Monica. They'll have a stack on hand as well. We'll also have an online purchasing option starting next week.

We've got your Marathoner's gift covered for the holidays.