Amma’s Coming to Town

June 17 through June 21 Amma is coming to Los Angeles. I always find a day to receive Darshan (Amma’s Blessing). I’ll keep you updated as to my plans. Please let me know if you are interested in joining me.

Amma is popularly known as “The Hugging Saint.” Darshan is basically a hug from Amma. I have waited over 14 hours for a hug. During my waiting time I never saw her leave to go to the bathroom, only take a few sips of water and just sit in the same place, hugging everyone in line and I was not the last in line.

I have received Darshan for the last 3 years. I’ll go early, get a token (number), meditate, go help in the kitchen, wash some huge pots and pans and be thankful for people like Amma. She is the Indian version of Mother Theresa.

Amma was presented with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence at the United Nations General Assembly Hall (Palais Des Nations) in Geneva in recognition of Her lifelong work in furthering the principles of non-violence.

If you were ever interested in being around someone considered “Enlightened” here is your chance. Regardless of your religious beliefs, here an opportunity to see another one of my and many others heroes/inspirations, join me or find a day and go by yourself. To read more about Amma Click Here

Namaste and Train Focused – Steve Mackel, CHt

Blazeman Update – He’s Gone

Jon Blais “Blazeman” has transitioned. I’ll say a prayer for him tonight, please join me

Blazeman Warriors,

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the news of the Blazeman’s passing on Sunday. Below is a note from his parents. While our hearts are heavy with sorrow the Blazeman Spirit gets stronger each day that we fight the War On ALS. Jon is free—we will continue to fight for better days for PALS—”So Others May Live.”

Many of you have asked about services, donations, etc. Jon’s family is in the planning stages of carrying out Blazeman’s final wishes, which will include a Warrior Poet tribute that will be held on August 30, 2007 (Jonathan’s birthday) in Bristol, RI. More information will be forthcoming.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the following organizations:

Jonathan S. Blais, a.k.a. Memorial Blazeman Scholarship Fund
Webster Bank, N.A.
741 Willet Ave.
Riverside, RI 02915
ATTN: Janice Marshall (phone 401-433-3430)

The Blazeman Foundation
P.O. Box 19292
Boulder, CO 80308

sweet dreams to our Warrior Poet…FREEDOM!

strength & honor…

Karen Duffy
The Blazeman Foundation

Dear Friends,

Jonathan passed away at approx 8:30 Sunday, May 27, 2007
He was a great son,brother, uncle and friend. We shall miss him more than you know,
He lost this battle in hopes others may win the war.

Donations to the Blazeman Foundation or Jonathan S. Blais Scholarship fund would be appreciated. I shall follow up with the pertinent information for these funds.

Please keep up the fight that Jon started 2 yrs ago in his honor.

Mary Ann and Bob Blais

www.WarOnALS.com
www.alswarriorpoet.com

Sunday’s Trail Run Exchanged for the Brentwood 5k/10k and Beach Runners Marathon and Half Marathon Training Started Strong

Beach Runners Mentor Rolando and a New Beach Runner take it to the Beach

May’s Trail Run has been exchanged for the Brentwood 5k/

how to win your girlfriend back

10k. That’s right we will not be meeting in Sierra Madre this Sunday but rather in Brentwood. I am going to be at the annual Brentwood 5k/10k this Sunday instead of the previously scheduled trail run in Sierra Madre. It’s becoming a tradition and a great way to spend Memorial Day Weekend Sunday. We might add a trail run on June 3rd, as Gary and I prepare for our Ultra Marathon on June12.

The Beach Runners, MaraYoga “Building the World’s Best Marathon and Half Marathon Training Program” has started and you can still join. For more directions, meeting times, cost and benefits click on Beach Runners

Some reviews of our first session are in and quite impressive, “Hi Steve and Gary, I just have to tell you that running (with the Beach Runners) last Saturday was awesome!!!! I could not believe how much energy I had after our 30 minute run! I felt like I could have run it all over again. I have been running since January and have realized that I was not running efficiently. I got to say that ChiRunning® is fantastic!!! And all of the mentors, as well as coaches, were so friendly and helpful. I met some new people and I can’t wait till next Saturday to run with “my” group again. :-) Thank you,” Julie

“Hello Steve and Gary, Saturday was great, I’m an occupational therapist working with people who have had spinal cord injuries, brain injuries/strokes, spinal surgeries and other random diagnoses. I’m constantly teaching them to be aware of their bodies/body mechanics, so it’s good for me to learn ChiRunning®. I’m having trouble with my body awareness during running, so it’s good for me to be a student for once! :) I’m happy I joined this great group of people, the Beach Runners, on this journey to complete my first FULL marathon. “Alicia”

Beach Runners Half Marathoners Practice Yoga With Steve on the Grass After Their Run

Steve and Gary’s proprietary MaraYoga training system combined with the ChiRunning® techniques make for a safe, effective and fun marathon and half marathon training, while possibly getting into the best shape of your life and learning to become healthier in body, mind and spirit. For more information Click Here

Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Beach Runners Head Coach

UltraMarathon Training Update

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So ultra training is going very well. This Sunday Beach Runners Sandy, Sindy, and I ran the real Palos Verdes Marathon—linking up the Palos Verdes Drives: Palos Verdes Drive East, West, South, and North. I figure this route is a difficult 21 miles and we added in some extra miles to make it a marathon.

I have been running with both of these girls quite a bit this year and am very proud of their running progress. They both ran their first marathon this year in Catalina, which is one of the hardest marathons in the world. They both attend yoga classes, they practice good nutrition, and they run on trails whenever possible. In other words, they follow our warrior training program. So after finishing Catalina, they both followed Steve and my advice and immediately decided to do another race. An ultramarathon.

I love athletes like this. They don’t think in terms of limitations. They think in realms of possibilities. Of taking chances. It’s the beauty of a beginners mind. You don’t know anything other than to trust your body and your coaches.
So Sindy had a bad case of food poisoning from eating Sushi the night before this long run. (There’s a lesson here). Yet still came out and ran for five hours having to turn around at a point on the course. I commended her on this courage. Sometimes we have our best runs when we are not feeling well. That’s when we feel adversity. And from adversity we grow stronger in our characters.

Meanwhile Sandy and I were going to finish no matter what. We ran for hours and hours with views of Catalina, then the South Bay beaches, then the Eucalyptus groves of PV Drive North. Sandy had to walk sections to give some variety to the muscles in her legs (another lesson here). We ate lots of food while running. Then we started PV Drive East. PV Drive East is a four mile uphill. Imagine that after a hard 20 previous miles.

I loved it. I focused on my ChiRunning form and started deep yogic breathing. And I flew up that hill. I loved every step of that hill. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the mental aspects of running lately. I’m finding out some secrets that I applied on that hill to calm my mind and focus on the task at hand. It’s hard to describe but when you can get your mind in the right rhythm with your body, running becomes ecstatic. More on that later.

Needless to say, I pulled ahead of Sandy on these sections. And instead of waiting at the top, I just ran back to make sure she was okay. She was running real smart. Running a little. Walking a little. Listening to her body. But being the tough woman she is, she made it to the top of that hill.

Once we started our downhill something really clicked for me.

All the ChiRunning, all the mental realignment, all the breath work, came together. I began running effortlessly with such emotional joy. Everything I’ve learned from Danny Dreyer and my yoga teachers just came together for a couple of fast downhill miles. At mile 24 of a 26 mile training run!!! Reaching the bottom I ran back up to make sure Sandy was progressing along as she was getting a little fatigued (imagine that). But she kept on going.

So it took us six hours. Longest training run of both our lives. Six hour training run. Neither of us were sore when we finished. Tired but not sore. Thats the beauty of MaraYoga.

To finish off, Sandy and I met Sindy back at the parking lot then went for recovery drinks at the local juice bar.

I’m excited. I felt I could have run for another 20 miles. Sandy emailed me and said she felt great that night, but has more to learn on the mental side of running. Sindy was proud of her courage to keep going despite not feeling well.

We have three weeks of tapering before the Ultramarathon in Big Bear. I’m very confident that Sandy and Sindy will finish. I signed Steve up to do it also. Not sure if he’s training for it, but he is in such amazing shape, he should be able to complete it. I think it will be a good test of his ChiRunning.

Take care,
Gary

Blazeman Update

Jon Blais “Blazeman” was the first ALS patient to complete an Ironman race. “This is where you’ll win the battle… in the playhouse of your mind.” In Strength and Honor – Blazeman

Below is an update on Jon’s condition from his father. I’ve never met Jon, I’m just following his progress. He should be a hero for all endurance athletes. He’s a hero for me. I’ll keep you informed. Train Focused – Steve Mackel, Follower

To all!

A brief note of thanks from Mom and Dad, this was an extremly difficult week for -blazeman, that may sound a little strange, every week is difficult, for that matter each day presents itself with a different set of complications, Jon is such a fighter that somehow we tend to overcome them, we are mindful that no one has ever beaten ALS and neither will -blazeman. For now, suffice to say that -blazeman is returning home from the hospital one more complication(battle) ALS associated won, I believe he heard your call and refused to give in, many of you had the -blazemans’back.

This evening we will take Blazeman Warrior, Karen Duffys’ advice, we will watch BRAVEHEART, we’ll hear William Wallaces’ call of FREEDOM, and remember the reason your doing it is—”So Others May Live”.

“The rest of those who have gone before us can not steady the unrest of those to follow”, finding Forrester.

Strength and Honor:

-blazemans’ family

You can find a link to Blazeman’s web site in the right hand side of this page in our Blogroll or Click Here

To view my previous article on Blazeman Click Here

Beach Runner Meeting Spot is Official! The Alamitos Bay Marina Parking Lot


Exploded Long Beach and Surrounding Area Map

We will be meeting in the Alamitos Bay Marina parking lot, just north of Joe’s Crab Shack. It is on the corner of N. Studebaker and Marina Dr. For a more detailed map go to Click Here

To mapquest directions from your address use: 6550 E Marina Dr., Long Beach, CA 90803-4607

The quick list of things to bring and wear: running shoes, running clothes, sunscreen, a fun attitude, yoga mat or towel, optional – hydration system, sunglasses, hat, sweats for the morning, extra fluids and food.

We will meet at 7:00 AM. If you have not already registered and plan on registering this Saturday please show up by 6:45 AM to complete the forms.

We are giving the ChiRunning® lesson at 7:30 AM this Saturday. While it is not mandatory our runs will not start until after the workshop. The ChiRunning® workshop will take approximately 50 minutes.

The full marathoners will go one hour, while the half marathoners will go 30 minutes. I don’t care if you run, jog or walk your designated time, or any combination of all three, I want you on your feet for that time period.

When your group finishes we will do yoga. The yoga is optional, yet it will make a huge difference in your overall fitness and training. Don’t worry if you do not have any previous yoga experience. We will teach you and help you. Yoga is not just for women either. Once we get going our yoga will strengthen your entire body. Be prepared to be challenged, as well as opened up.

The ChiRunning books are en route but it does not look like they will be here until a week from Saturday. Everyone who signs up by Saturday will get a book the next week.

Our meeting spot is new. I spent some time there today and I have a great feeling about our new location. Originally I wanted to stay where we were. The new spot is a little bit longer drive for me. I don’t like change, especially when it was a good thing, yet I realize the importance of change and now I am very excited.

I look forward to meeting all the new people and reconnecting with the Alumni. Here comes another awesome training session. And, if I am really lucky I’ll see you tonight for our official kick-off party.

Or register and enjoy the fun at the Beach Runners Final Kick-off Party this Thursday, May 17, 2007, 6:30 to 8:30 PM

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
The Pike at Rainbow Harbor
87 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
Tel 562-437-2434

Train Focused,

Steve Mackel, CHt, ChiRunning/ChiWalking Instructor®
Beach Runners Head Coach and Program Director

http://www.BeachRunners.org

http://www.TriThisCoaching.com

To stay in the running loop join http://www.SoCalRunning.com It is free! The easy sign-up form is in the upper right corner of the main web page.

Drum Roll Please – Beach Runners Meeting Spot

As of 7:18 I am still not sure. A Long Beach official said he’d get back to me today. There are two choices and one will become official. They are both nice spots with benefits and drawbacks. Neither one is better yet I still have my first and second choice.

One spot is in East Long Beach on Alamitos Bay, off Marina Blvd. The other spot is the Port of Long Beach Admistrative buliding, in West Long Beach by the Queen Mary. The issue is parking 200 cars for 21 weeks. At least, the city of Long Beach is working hard to accomodate us. Last year, we had a private parking lot that is unavailable to us this year

So, has the hours pass by today I will be waiting with my cell phone in hand to see where the chips fall. Depending on my internet availability I will post the official spot as soon as I know.

Patience is a virtue, but this waiting is getting to me too. Stay tuned!

Train Focused,

Steve Mackel, SoCalRunning.com Co-Founder

Larry’s Beach Runner Story


Larry, Steve and Gary Practicing Yoga After a Long Run

Wow, the third year of Beach Runners Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon training starts this Saturday, the 19th! I’ve been around since the beginning and find myself wondering where the time has gone. On January 1st, 2005, I started out as a walker. I joined Beach Runners in May and then ran my first marathon in Chicago on October 8th. Two more marathons, two half-marathons, and a couple of 10Ks later, I’ve gone from being someone “around 45” to someone “pushing 50”, and I’ve gone from being someone who procrastinated deeply, willfully and soulfully when it came to anything that even remotely hinted to the slightest production of sweat to become someone now referred to as an athlete.

And not only am I now an athlete I am also one of the mentors in the Beach Runner’s training program doing my best to assist others in learning the ChiRunning technique and where I sometimes lead my own spirited, express, drive-thru version of “MaraYoga.”

In the last two and a half years, having welcomed ChiRunning and MaraYoga into my life, I’ve added and continue to work toward new levels of self-awareness, personal growth and understanding. Given genetics and upbringing, at this stage of my life, “depressed alcoholic” as opposed to “athlete and mentor” would more aptly, one would think, define whom I’d become; however, I spent what now appears to be near half a century working on my psychological, behavioral, and emotional self while leaving my physical self unscathed, except for that whole 42-inch waist, 230 lbs., overweight, unhealthy thing, to now be heading off to Dublin, Ireland next month where I will participate in training to earn my certification as a ChiRunning instructor and then, after that, I’m tossing around the idea and doing research into becoming a certified yoga instructor as well.

Have I become a fanatic, no, just someone who has come to realize MaraYoga and ChiRunning while offering much needed physical benefits, also connect with me psychologically, emotionally and spiritually.

ChiRunning is all about body sensing and running focused in a conscious state of awareness, to me, this is synonymous with “living in the moment” and often times while practicing MaraYoga, I’m reminded “it’s yoga practice; not yoga perfect” speaking to me and supporting my belief there’s no such thing as achieving and living the perfect life; however, there is such a thing as doing the best I can.

As we head into this year’s training, relax, have fun and enjoy each and every moment; speaking from experience, embrace the journey and in the grand scheme of things, think of it as “it’s life practice not life perfect.”

Larry – Beach Runners Mentor

Beach Runners Spring/Summer Training 2007

beach_runners_logo.gif

Everything starts this Saturday, May 19! Here we go. Another 21-weeks of fun and fantastic training. Forget your boot camps, join the ultimate group workout. Ok, it starts out relativley easy yet by the summer you are going long. Blended with our cross-traning and yoga, stick with the program, and you’ll see profound results, in mind, body and spirit.

Registration is available Saturday mornings for the next 4 weeks. We accept cash, checks and credit cards. We meet at 7 AM. If you have any questions, please email smackel@runicr.com

Or register and enjoy the fun at the Beach Runners Final Kick-off Party this Thursday, May 17, 2007, 6:30 to 8:30 PM

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
The Pike at Rainbow Harbor
87 Aquarium Way
Long Beach, CA 90802
Tel 562-437-2434

We are still waiting for approval for our official Saturday meeting spot. It will be announced by Wednesday on SoCalRunning.com and Beach Runners

Moms – Happy Mother’s Day from SoCalRunning.com


My Mom (in blue with glasses) Surrounded by Some of Her Grandchildren

Moms, I love all of you. What a job you have been given. What blessings you have bestowed. If my mom is any indication, the amount of time, effort and unconditional love that has been dedicated to me, well just look at me, I required a lot of all of those and what about patience? My mom had four boys, God bless her. I still don’t know how she is sane.

This Mother’s Day weekend is time to honor your mother, mother figures in your life and moms around you, you know, your family and friends. From start to finish being a mother has to be one of the toughest jobs. First you have to deal with nine months of pregnancy, then raising children for the rest of their lives. It also can be the most rewarding experience in life and only women are blessed with that opportunity. As a man, even though I am not a father, I see a difference. Slight it may be, it is still a difference.

This Sunday is another opportunity to send love and appreciation to your mother. Even if you mother has passed away or you don’t communicate with her for some reason, still send out that love and appreciation. Carry it in your heart and be affected by it, invest yourself with all those motherly qualities and let them shine in your life.

That’s my goal this Sunday, Monday, Tuesday……

Mom, I love you.

Train Focused – Your Son Steve Mackel, CHt

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