Randy’s LA Marathon Race Report


Randy and Tonya With Their Finisher’s Medals

This wasn’t my first LA Marathon and I’ve run it through warm, hot (and I mean hot) and very wet weather. I’ve trained for it with different running groups and on my own. What made this one, my 9th LA Marathon, so memorable and such a great experience was all the Beach Runners that were out there that day.

I’ve previously trained with a large running group, the LA Leggers. A great group of people and I’ve made some wonderful friends from those days. But, I think we seem like such a close knit group, as we are a smaller unit with great mentors and with Gary and Steve to lead us on.

The LA Marathon morning started off with Chris and her boyfriend, Ted, picking up Tonya and myself around 5:45 am (the South Bay Beach Runners). Ted dropped us off at the Metro station downtown and we zipped up to the starting area around 7 am. Thanks again to Chris and Ted for making transportation up there so easy! We were there early enough to wait in the portapotty line for about 40 minutes. While in line, we talked to some racewalkers, who planned to do the marathon in 4 1/2 hours. Some of those guys are fast! I think one of those two did place in the top 5!

Finally around 7:45, we connected with all of the Beach Runners who were finishing up the body looseners. However, most important of all, we made it in time for the group photo. We then marched on down to the start line, to wait with some 20,000+ runners.

One thing that made this marathon different at the beginning is that you couldn’t hear anything. Didn’t hear the national anthem or the starting gun. When we finally approached the start line, could hear a bit of the Randy Newman “I Love LA” song, but not like when it starts downtown.

During the first few miles there were quite a group of us together. However, around the Hollywood Bowl, I saw Lani, John and Kristin zip ahead of most of us. By the way, once we started never did see Chris again! Where did you go?

From there until mile 10, Uncle Sam kept a group of us together: myself, Ashley, Kate and Michael (forgive me if I forgot someone or got your name wrong). While running together, we said hello to former Beach Runner Earl. As I was relying on the water stations for refueling, Uncle Sam kept on eye on me to make sure I would catch up. We even all stopped at the portapotty together around mile 9. I think you have the makings of a mentor in Uncle Sam!

I’ll confess right now, I don’t do well in heat and as I was starting to feel it effects, I dropped back and let Uncle Sam and company go ahead. My tendency from them on was to slow down or walk when the sun was out, then pick it up when there was shade. The last time I wanted to do was pass out that day.

A few miles later, I walked with Tonya for a while. Then Erin for awhile and we shared some pain gel for some aches and pains as she was not feeling great at that point. But she must have recovered as she passed our little group at the end. Steve ran with me briefly a couple times during the race. And somewhere during the marathon, I saw Huell Howser on the sidewalk watching us all run by (or was he a delusion due to the heat?)

Then, out of nowhere, Gary appeared and ran/walked with me for a while. Had a nice chat for him about running, traveling, yoga, etc. I left him in line at one of those lovely portapotties and I went on ahead. It was around mile 20 or 21, at this point I thought I was facing a lonely finish. However, somewhere around mile 22/23, I found 3 Beach Runners I hadn’t seen since the start: Larry, Beth and Roxanne. Larry kept us going, doing a run/walk routine (flashback to my Legger days!). Dave caught up to us around this time and went ahead. Then Erin passed us also. Somewhere around mile 24/25, Larry blurts out: I want a f$%$%g bacon cheeseburger! I think that was our motivation to finish. Anyway, it must have been the last half-mile or so and Larry made us all run in to the finish line. Thanks again, Larry, Beth and Roxanne. You helped me make a strong finish. We got our medals and Steve was there to congratulate us. Shortly after, Tony finished and then after we dropped her off, I stopped off at Jack in the Box for a f$%$%g bacon cheeseburger.

I’m not sure how many Beach Runners were out there that day, but I think I counted I was able to run with about 15 of you during some part of the race that day. Everyone was so supportive, whether it was coordinating transportation, calling each other on cell phones to see how we were doing or helping one another on the course. Congratulations to all of you that completed the marathon and thanks again for making this a great experience.

Randy, Beach Runner, SoCalRunning.com Member

Erin’s Moving LA Marathon Race Report


Erin Kisses Her Deserved Finisher’s Medal

Well, my first marathon went off without any major problems. The only real setback was the heat. At the starting line all I could think was “Gosh, I’m so nervous. I hope I make it through this!” Then I thought of the advice given to me just a couple of days before by my aunt (a 25-time marathoner who has finished in the top 100 women in Boston). She told me “My advice to you as a first-timer: just have fun!”

Before I knew it, I was at mile 3 and my roommate was waiting on me with a Cliff bar. Then at mile 4 I developed side stitches. I thought “Great. This is going to be a loooooong day if I’m already experiencing pain”. I stopped and walked for a few minutes until the aches subsided.

I saw Tonya at mile 12 and I had to stop and get rid of a pebble that had somehow made its way into my shoe. She shared some of those frozen orange slices with me. By mile 13 I realized that I wasn’t going to finish in the time that I wanted but the frustration didn’t last too long. I just remembered my aunt’s advice.

Miles 14-20 were pretty much a blur. I took advantage of that pain-relieving spray at mile 19! My left calf kept feeling like it wanted to cramp. With the heat being as intense as it was I didn’t take chances. I walked when I needed to and jogged when I felt strong enough. I think it was at mile 20 that I saw Larry and jogged with him for a little bit until I had to walk again.

Between mile 21 and 22 I walked. I saw a young woman laid out on the sidewalk receiving medical attention. At this point I’m thinking “Am I going to make it?” Despite all of the water, Gatorade and Gu I had consumed I felt zapped of all my energy. I heard someone call my name from behind but thought I was just delirious from the heat, but it was Gary! I was being hard on myself and he said “Look behind you! You’re ahead of a lot of people.”

Soon he left and I was alone again. I almost wanted to cry, call my friend Amy and tell her that I was ready to quit. Right before mile 22 I had a bad thought. As some of you may know, I’ve lost a signifcant amount of weight since joining the Beach Runners in May of 2006. Some evil little voice was telling me “Just because you lost weight doesn’t mean you can finish a marathon.”
As soon as I thought that then something else hit me. The thought soon turned into “Look at how far you’ve come already! You’re doing something that only a small percentage of the population will even attempt. Your mother (R.I.P.) would be so proud of you!”

That’s really all it took because I was suddenly able to run steadily from mile 22 all the way to 25 when I passed the drummers. That last mile was eerily quiet. There was a good crowd but only a few continued to cheer. I saw Larry and Beth up ahead, mustered what little energy I had left and yelled “Laaaaaaarrrrryyy!” He turned around and in typical Larry fashion yells “Come on, girl! Aim for my butt!” I did and I ended up passing him.

I saw the mile 26 sign and it was so close yet so far away. I walked fast then jogged and repeated the cycle. When I rounded the corner and saw the finish line I pictured my mom cheering me on and I cried like a baby. I cried so hard that when I finished, the volunteers thought I needed medical attention. Then another volunteer asked “Do you just need a hug?” to which I replied “YES!!”.

My time was 5:59:38. Today (March 9th) my mother would have turned 50 years old. Finishing this race was my gift to her and to myself. If someone had asked me Sunday or Monday if I wanted to run another marathon, the answer would have been NO! Now that I can walk without a limp I’m thinking “Hmm. I have to beat this time!”

Erin, Beach Runner and SoCalRunning.com Member

My Catalina VideoBlog From Last Year

SoCalRunning.com » 2006 » March

Catalina Marathon this weekend!!!!!

I can’t wait.

Gary

Blogged with Flock

Runners World Picks Catalina as a Must Do Marathon

Photo_022807_002.jpg

Crossing the finish line may be exhilarating, but marathons that double as seminal events are even more rewarding. So we compiled a list of the 10 marathon experiences you should have in your lifetime–and the 20 races that will make them real. Add one or two to your calendar to get the most out of your life as a marathoner.
Run Off-Road

SoCalRunning.com’s & Runners World’s Pick: Catalina Marathon

When: March 17, 2007

Read Rest of Runners World Article here

Blogged with Flock

Steve’s LA Marathon Report


Most of the Beach Runners and SoCalRunning.com Members Before the Start of the 2007 LA Marathon

Within a week, hopefully, you will see my LA Marathon experience on a SoCalRunning.com RunCast. Until then, here’s my report.

The day started at Universal City, actually Ventura Blvd. We showed up over an hour early for the start. With about a half hour to go before the scheduled start time we did the ChiRunning® Body Looseners. Total strangers jumped in and joined us. Let’s face it they look fun. Why not join us? I gave the group a quick pre-race talk. They didn’t need much; they had read Gary’s inspirational story and my tips on SoCalRunning.com earlier in the week. Everyone knew what to do. The x-factor would be the heat.

We started as a group and within a half mile some of the faster runners took off. I stayed back with the slower group. Why not, it was so crowded I wasn’t going to go much faster anyway. It was downhill after the 1.5-mile marker. I wanted to go faster and I had only planned on running 18 to 20 miles, yet the group was why I was there, so I kept the downhill slow.

The Beach Runners hung together in a couple little groups. We took the first half slow and steady. About mile 10 I heard my name called. It was ChiRunner and SoCalRunning.com member, Al. I worked with him about a year-and-a-half ago. We would run together for the next 6 miles. It was great running with him. Of course, all the time I was meeting new people. We ran past a church that was on the marathon route. A priest and nun were out cheering on the runners, so I asked the priest to forgive me for missing mass. It looked like all morning masses were cancelled. When the LA Marathon runs through your neighborhood, you are stuck.

I was going to jump out at mile 8 yet the day was too pretty. When I was driving to the start of the race the basin was so clear and beautiful my love for LA was renewed. I decided to stick in the race until mile 13 then hitch a ride with Jorge. When I got to mile 13 I forgot to look for Jorge. At that point I figured I needed to get at least a good 3 hours in. I kept running.

I had a backpack on with 10 pounds of cameras, phones, food, pain killers, bandages and Body Glide. Around mile 15 a lady ran up to me and asked if I had something in my pack for a blister. Of course I did, so her friends and I pulled over to the curb and I bandaged her up.

From mile 16 to 20 I ran with Bobby and his girlfriend Anna. We met all sorts of people like Estaban from Belize, the Dharma girl and a couple of City of Hope runners during this stretch. At mile 20 Coach Gary calls out my name and really topped off my day. He ran 3 hours the day before and was recovering from a cold. I told the group not to expect seeing him. He carried my backpack for a couple miles, then gave it back to me so he could go back find other Beach Runners.

Armand and Steve Jamming at Mile 21 with Core

At mile 21 I heard a cool band. I went over to them to cheer them on when I recognized the percussionist, Armand. Suddenly I realized it was Core, LA’s premier jam band. I was a member of Core a couple of years ago. I jumped up on stage and started jamming with them. After a few minutes it was time to get back to running. I picked up the speed and caught Bobby, Michael and Carol.

It was at mile 22 I started to tire. I pulled out the video camera and talked to more people. Marina was there in her Beach Runner shirt cheering us on. I got a hug and was back on course. Kate caught me at this point so I started running with her. Next, we would find Mark then John. Kate went on and the three guys walked.

I bought a couple of fruit ice cream bars for Mark and I at mile 24 and kept walking. Mark finished his bar and ran ahead. John soon left, so I pulled overat mile 25 and waited for the next Beach Runner to come along. Who would be the next to show?

As fate had it, it was Vern, the perfect person to run in with. Vern and I ran together quite a bit this winter. We took it easy until the last half-mile. Just before the final turn home we saw Barb, Kristy and Sandy. I got my hugs, caught Vern and we crossed the finish line together.

In the end I ran around a 5:20, my slowest marathon ever, yet my most enjoyable. The heat really didn’t affect me. I ate better than any other marathon I had run before and made sure I was drinking at least 8 ozs. of water an/or sports drink every aid station. I was loaded up on Bio-Builde and enjoyed a fun after marathon party on the lobby bar floor of the Bonaventure Hotel with some other Beach Runners.

Thanks to all the runners, their families, friends and the LA communities that supported us for 26.2 awesome miles. Look for the RunCast soon.

A special thanks to Jorge and Core for the pictures.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – SoCalRunning.com Co-Founder, Beach Runners Head Coach

Steve and Vern Approach the Finish Line in Great ChiRunning® Form

John’s LA Marathon Report


John’s Happy Ending

Report from the slowest of the three “Rebel Runners” from the LA Marathon.

The last few weeks I have been running with fellow Beach Runners Kristin and Lani (a.k.a. Rebel Runners). We branded ourselves rebels for doing some things differently, like driving most of the LA Marathon course last week to help us prepare. We stuck together for most of our training runs. Sometimes I was a little faster. On Sunday, when it (in theory) mattered most, I was the one to fall back.

There’s one aspect of my running that I’m not happy about. Maybe I don’t look it, but I am officially a “Master Buffalo” (go to the Catalina Marathon website for the definition). I am male, over 40 years old, and (ugh) over 200 pounds. Of course, I can‚t do anything about being male or older, but my weight could come down a bit.

One thing I learned on Sunday: buffaloes run better when it is 30 degrees than when it is 80 degrees. In my case, nearly 1 hour better.

I already knew I would run the LA Marathon slower than my last one in January. First, a ligament in my left ankle had been tender for a couple of weeks, and I needed to avoid injury. Second, weather reports warned us of a hot marathon, which would slow us down. Third, Beach Runner Mentor, Jesus told me that a 7-week break between marathons was extra challenging. He explained that a short break between his marathons affected him at Pacific Shoreline, where he “bonked” and couldn’t match his blistering 3:19 Las Vegas Marathon time.

I was tempted to think that lesson was: Jesus should stop running sub-3:20 marathons and be more like the rest of us. Instead, I took his advice and prepared myself for a slow run.

The start was incredible, with Coach Steve and about 20 Beach Runners all bunched together, raring to go, and watching 20,000 people ahead of us slowly get across the start line. Steve gave numerous people leg massages. He gave a banana to Kristin when her pre-race banana got victimized by a wayward trickle of pee, courtesy of somebody who couldn‚t wait in line for 30+ minutes to use a porta-potty.

After a couple of miles with the big group, Lani, Kristin and I rebelled and ran a bit faster together for about the first 16 miles, probably averaging about 10:30s. It was around that time that “body sensing” started telling me that I was going to have to go slower. I wasn’t suffering any injuries or pain; my left ankle was holding up really well. Instead, my heart was pounding and focusing on breathing well wasn’t getting the heart rate down.

So, I knew from experience the heat was getting to me. This happened at times last summer in our Beach Runner training. I used to run in extreme heat long ago when I ran in high school in the summers in Arizona, 25 years and many pounds ago. My body was telling me to slow down or it might shut down on me.

I still managed to keep Kristin and Lani within sight. At mile 18 we stopped for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and other goodies, courtesy of Kristin’s boyfriend/Beach Runners Helper Wade and Lani’s (ha-ha) fiancé/Beach Runners Helper John. (Ask Lani sometime about the ha-ha part.) I decided that survival was more important than speed. I munched down food and water like a buffalo grazing at the beginning of springtime. Then, we, along with Mentor Chris who caught up with our group, ran off.

Or more accurately, they ran off. For the first time in a marathon, I started walking. My body told me to treat the last 1/3 of the marathon more like a walking buffet than a run.

Walking gives you a different perspective on a marathon, when many people are passing you instead of the other way around. I admired how so many runners were obviously burned out like me with more than a 10K to go, and yet they were walking or shuffling along determined to finish the race. I saw many who were not very “chi” in their running but were nonetheless passing me up. I admired those who had running form issues and yet could finish marathons.

I was so happy that even though I was so obviously having a bad race, I didn‚t care just as long as I avoided hyperthermia and finished. Maybe I would have been upset if this was my first marathon, or I had hoped to PR in the race. Instead, I knew there would be more marathons ahead. In fact, I am hoping to run a sub-4:00 marathon one of these days. To do that, I know it would be best not to injure myself or pass out in this race. And, of course, drop some lbs. in the future.

Around mile 20 I walked with Coach Gary and we chatted generally about the joy of running even when you’re walking.

Gary then went backwards to find other Beach Runners. I then employed my new version of ChiRunning®: walk up the hills; trot down the hills; and do something in between on flat lands. And, chug down liquid at each water station like a buffalo who just completed a trek through the Sahara Desert. I was gulping down 3 or 4 waters/Gatorades every time, in addition to what I had left on my fuel belt.

Around mile 24 Coach Steve and Beach Runner Mark caught up with me. They were slow because they are running the Catalina Marathon in 2 weeks. Slow … and insane is all I could think at that moment. Then another Beach Runner caught up; the heat fazed her so much, she described how she felt dizzy during a rest stop. I thought, “Man, we are all insane to be going through this stupid race.”

A wave of insanity (as well as shade from the clouds and tall buildings) hit me at mile 25 and I ran as fast as I could to the finish line. A few Beach Runners (including Barbara and Kristi) cheered me on as I made the last turn to the finish. Per Garmin, I finished at 5:15, crushing my “negative” PR time by 33 minutes. I was a happy buffalo.

I caught up with rebels Kristin and Lani and learned the heat eventually slowed them down. But they came in about 15 minutes faster than me. One of them (I won’t say who), was rather woozy from the whole experience.

I then found my wife/Beach Runner Helper Laura, who hugged me and fed me more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

As I send this off to Coach Steve on Wednesday, I am feeling less sore than I was after my prior marathons. My tender left ankle held up well, and everything else feels pretty good. Everything that comes with the Beach Runners (ChiRunning®, Power Yoga, great running buddies especially the Rebels) did their job again.

The LA Times reports that Fred Mogaka won the marathon with the slowest time in its history. When asked if he liked his time, Fred said: “I was very happy with my time because I win.”

If you finished this marathon, you win, so be happy.

Beach Runner and SoCalRunning.com Member, John

Al’s LA Marathon Race Report


Kate and Al Around Mile 18

Well, the Marathon is over. I felt a bit under-prepared going into the last week. This was my first marathon. I had not done any training runs over 3 hours, and had caught a pretty bad cold the two weeks prior to the race, which was still lingering. I also had planned to do a couple more training runs with Steve, but the last few months before the race, I was occupied by a house remodel, and a possible impending job transfer. But I had been running plenty, and figured there’s got to be some people in worse shape running it.

I met my friend Doug at the parking garages downtown about 6AM. We got on the red line, and headed off to universal. We wore our sweats, it was still a bit cold, and would check our stuff at the Sweat Storage by the start line. We checked in our stuff, and headed over to the starting area. It was a mass of people, as far as you could see. We must have been somewhere in the middle. We walked across the start line at about 8:38, and started off slowly, since it was so crowded. The first few miles were deceptively easy, as it was all downhill, and we probably ran too fast, like a lot of people did at the start. However, there were lots of walkers and slower runners, causing us to have to shift left and right.

I had commented about how crowded it was to Doug, and another runner near me heard me and replied that it would not open up until mile 9 or 10… wow, oh well I thought, I’ll just have to get used to the crowd. We were doing really well for the first two hours. We had run the city of Angels 1/2 marathon in 12/06, and though difficult, we did it in 2:20. I was shooting for 5 hours today. I was still feeling pretty good when we reached miles 12 and 13. I was drinking plenty of water, and eating a GU or two at least every hour. It was getting hot. The sun was out, and it must have been in the mid 70’s.

We were keeping a 10 minute pace. My friend had fallen behind shortly after that though, and I spotted Steve. I started running with him for the next five or six miles. He really helped keep my pace, since I wasn’t running with a metronome. He also helped by giving me some electrolyte pills, and some on the spot coaching, which helped tremendously. We did the alphabet band name thing like Toyna mentioned in her post. I don’t think we got past the A’s… (By the way Steve, here’s the band ABC: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ABC_(band) that you didn’t remember). I pretty much ran with Steve and some of his gang until mile 19.

At that point, I was running with his friend Katie for a couple miles, when I decided to stop at the exit of the Champion music/motivation tunnel. I thought that would be a good place to wait, and see if I could spot my friend. I waited for 10 minutes, he didn’t show, so I kept going. About mile 20, I saw my friend’s wife, who had accompanied us in the morning. She was riding the Redline around the course to try and keep up with us. I stopped with her and waited for another 10 or 15 minutes until he showed up. I really wanted to finish the race with him, since we had been training together for it for the last six months. He was still running, but very slowly. He told me to keep going, so after some more water at mile 20, I continued on.

This is where things got extremely difficult for me. I was running solo at this point, trying to keep going. The east side of LA was pretty desolate in spots except for runners. Not many spectators. Not much motivation. The view across the 6th street bridge of downtown LA was enough to keep me going. There were also some people handing out cups of beer in front of a place called Sam’s Hoffbrau. I thought it was brewery, but someone told me later it’s a strip joint. I found out later, Doug made a pit stop for a beer inside, and was high-fived by all the patrons inside as he exited.

By mile 23 and 24 I was in bad shape. I couldn’t keep running, so I told myself to walk 1 minute, run 5 and just repeat this until the finish line. It was all I could do to keep that going. When the one-minute walk was up, I mustered enough strength somehow to start running again. The last mile, as people began to line the streets and cheer the runners on, propelled me to the finish. A runner who had finished already was sitting on the curb about a 1/2 mile before the finish, and gave me a “Looking strong Alper! You’re almost there!” This and all the other people cheering was really overwhelming. I finished the last mile without walking. The last mile seemed to go by too quickly, and suddenly it was over. I had crossed the finish line.

I was in a lot of pain as I walked through the finish area grabbing a banana, some trail mix and orange juice. I went to the Sweat Storage picked up my stuff, and headed to the reunion area to wait for my friend. I saw his wife, and we hung out there together for him. I stretched out and tried to hydrate. He came in about an hour after me. He said he walked the last few miles, but we had both finished, and we were happy with that. So, I actually didn’t even get my final time yet. I was so wrapped up in finishing, I didn’t check the finish clock or my watch. I think I came in about 5:15. After the race I thought I would never do another marathon. But now it’s been two days ago, and I already want to do it again.

Al – ChiRunner & SoCalRunning.com Member

Toyna’s LA Marathon Race Report


Tonya’s Awesome View at Mile 23

okay Steve – if I don’t write a report now, I wont at all…so here goes…

LA Marathon 2007. This was my 1st LA marathon, my 2nd marathon ever and my 2nd training season as a mentor. I remember reading an article once that compared running a marathon to riding a rollercoaster — in that article the author suggeted that if in fact you do enjoy the ride so much, do you really want it over in a few seconds, or do you want it to last longer. That was the experience of this LA marathon for me. Easy of course to say now that it’s over and took a little more than 6 hours. 1 hour off my goal of 5 hours — which really isnt that bad considering what experiences that one hour contains – which was less about running, more about connecting with people.

As we had been warned, the start of the race was quite congested – but I kinda liked it – it was the most I’ve run with other Beach Runners than any other race and at some point in the race I ran with at least 11 other BR faces. We had no choice but to start slow, however the heat was less expected and around mile 9, I was starting to feel the effects of the heat and slowly started losing my other sub 5 hour peers who ran ahead of me. I stopped to walk at mile 10 and it was at that point that I was handed a ziploc bag of sliced, ice cold —yes ice cold, oranges, from a little boy in the neighborhood. That was when I really began to take notice of the people on the streets, the cheering sections of families on their porches, on their lawns, sitting there simply to cheer us on – taking enough time and care to freeze the oranges, so they would be ice cold for us. That bag felt so good in my hand and I was able to share those oranges with 3 other BRs.

Around that same time, I had lost the one BR I had committed to run with when he stopped, with the help of Steve, to bandage a blister on his foot. Nonethless, with the advent of cell phones we were able to catch up near mile 11. He was hurting from the blisters (maybe even from the beer from the weekend, but I’m not one to say) and I was hurting from the heat- so we walked a little longer — we started running again, but around mile 13 – stopped to take another walk break. It was at this point that I knew 5 hours was out the window – and my partner was not up to running anytime soon. So I suggested some strategies – walk one mile, run one mile — that lasted half
a mile. He suggested….with a smile… walk 1/2 mile, run 1/2 mile. I suggested … with an even bigger smile….we take our time and enjoy the experience — we’ll run when we’re ready. And that’s exacly what we, well – I better speak for myself , that’s exactly what I did.

With my running partner in tow, and me pushing him along, I ran through the fire truck hose at mile 16 and every other water hose thereafter, expecially when it was the hose of a child in his yard. I danced through the motivational tunnel at mile 18 – and every time I heard any music. I took pictures of the downtown landscape somewhere between 18 and 19 and one of me and my partner shortly after that; — I happily took ice from a kid on the street and placed one ice cube in my sports bra and one under my cap…. I made a point to slap the extended hand of every child we saw and cheered back at any spectator who called my name; I gratefully hugged Gary at mile 21 who walked with us to about mile 22 and at mile 23 convinced my partner
to catch up to this cute guy also walking. We talked to him until about mile 24. 5 at which point, we were ready to run— -all the way to the finish.

It took us an hour longer than we hoped, but in that time we exchanged smiles and affections with strangers; told jokes; discussed life and love and ex-loves; questioned our sanity; named bands, and then movies, from A to Z; cheered along those who were passing us; and made plans for our next training season. It wasn’t pretty – but it was good.

Seeing all the cuture and diversity of LA, reminded me of what I love about living here. Getting a ride to and from the event with Chris and Randy, having Steve massage my calf with Tiger Balm at the start, seeing Gary at mile 20 – Barb at mile 25 and even sighting one former BR as a spectator wearing her BR shirt – reminded me what I love about running and why this indeed is a running community!

Thanks Beach Runners- for another great race — see you in May.

Toyna, Beach Runners Mentor & SoCalRunning.com Member

LA Marathon Tip #3 Bodywork and Its Benefits Before and After Your Marathon

I firmly believe in bodywork. I am seeing my bodywork mentor Lenny Parracino every week now before the Catalina Marathon. As Lenny says, “Soft tissue work is like dental flossing for your muscles and all other connective tissue.” You wouldn’t skip dental flossing, so as an endurance athlete, and the amount of time you put in training, your soft tissues to get worked. Why wouldn’t you get bodywork. Well, I know some of your answers; it is expensive or I don’t have the time. Well, Lance Armstrong gets bodywork after almost every workout when he is in serious training mode or racing.

Pre-Race – A nice relaxing Swedish, without too much deep tissue work is great. Thursday or Friday are prime days for this. If you have one scheduled Saturday make it very relaxing, a painful massage may do more harm than good. I also get a pedicure race week. I gotta show my tootsies some love. That sounds like something good to do on a Saturday.

Race-Day – A quick stimulating massage is perfect. These are only a few minutes long to stimulate the blood flow to the muscles and other soft tissues you’ll be using during the race. It also loosens you up. I’ll be out there and if you ask me, depending on how much time is available, I’ll work on you for free! Call it Karma.

Post-Race – I have read different opinions on when after your race you should get a massage. Well I won’t have my table with me, so if you can manage the lines they offer massages at the finish line. An easy 20-minute session is great. If they’ll work on your feet too (they can get kinda gross after 26.2 miles), better for you.

Sometime over the next week, while you are recovering, a thorough full body massage is a great idea. I’ve been training in very specialized sports massage techniques this January and I’ll offer a special post race 1-hour massage for the price of $50 Email Steve for an appointment if you come to me, in Pasadena. Whether you see me or someone else, treat yourself, you deserve it.

Train Focused, Steve Mackel, Certified Massage Therapist

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