Running Shoe Store of the Month – Fleet Feet Sports Burbank

SoCalRunning.com is starting a new campaign – Running Shoe Store of the Month:

January 2014 Running Shoe Store of the Month is – Fleet Feet Sports Burbank

Use this link to get a 15% off coupon for Fleet Feet Sports Burbank
good for the rest of January 2014

I frequent quite a few running shoe stores in So Cal. For this new SoCalRunning.com program, I chose Fleet Feet Sports Burbank for the month of January 2014. They opened in October of 2012. Fleet Feet Burbank is located at 1516 W.Magnolia Blvd., Burbank, CA 91506 (818) 238-9522.

My friend Paul told me about this store. He liked the cool group runs and a free  yoga classes they offered. So, last year I went on a run in Griffith Park then made the 5 minute drive to Fleet Feet.

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I walked in and met the owner, Colin. We immediately starting talking about shoes and fitting. Colin walked me through a typical shoe fitting. They have a good selection with most of the major brands. I was checking out the Saucony Peregrine. I always like check our new trail shoes.

Burbank Fleet Feet store philosophy is, “To be all inclusive store to educate and inform their customers.” If they don’t have the shoes you are looking for they will order them for you. They also carry a full line of running clothes and running accessories. Surprisingly they also carry some yoga mats and props. That because they offer a free bi-weekly yoga class.

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Fleet Feet Sports Burbank is very involved in the local running community. Here’s a list of what they are doing in January:

  • Pub Run – Every Wed. at 6:30p.  3 or 4 mile options, have different vendors present for product trials twice a month.  Those who want to join after, we go down to Tony’s Darts Away for $4 pints of Golden Road Brews.
  • Yoga for Runners – Every other Thursday at 7pm , next one on January 9th.  Free 1.5 hour yoga class geared specifically towards runners and walkers.
  • Through January 21st, our Winter Warrior runs are every Tuesday evening at 6:30p and Saturday morning at 8:30a.  Theme inspired fun runs, with varying distances and abilities.  Gain points for attendance and win prizes for accumulating points.

Specific January events not falling into the above list:

Remember to take advantage of the 15% coupon and check out Fleet Feet Sports Burbank.


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Train Focused, Steve Mackel – Master ChiRunning Instructor

Great Run in Palos Verdes

An inpsirational blog post from Bernice, a Beach Runner and SoCalRunning.com member.

I love this post as it shows a process orientated apporach to accomplishing running goals.

George White’s Buffalo Run Report

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Why is the Catalina Half marathon called the ultimate trail run?

I don’t know why other people call it that – but I do know that it was the hardest 13 miles I’ve ever run. I’m tired, I’m sore, and I’m happy. It was a great run. I honestly don’t know why I signed on for this. I really wasn’t looking to do another marathon any time soon, but I wanted to keep training with the Beach Runners. And I’ve already run the Pacific Shoreline Half twice – PR’d there in 2004 at 1:49. So I guess I was looking for a new challenge – and I sure found it.

I had to get up way early – 5 am. We had to get on the boat before 6:00 am to catch the 6:15 am boat. We arrived at Avalon about 7:30 – me, Steve, Gary, Jim, and one of Steve’s private coaching clients, Mark Kirsh. Mark is just too much. He’s been running a marathon a month. He just ran I think it was #11 last Sunday – the ING Miami marathon. He qualified for Boston – and he’s running that in March or so.

Anyway – I had all of the usual pre-race energy – I got my packet, my number, pinned it on my Beach Runner’s technical shirt. We got in line – it was such a small field – I’m like Gary – I really like these smaller races.

Immediately – Steve and Gary take off like jack rabbits on crystal meth. Mark was pretty much keeping up with them. Jim was somewhere behind me. I started out doing 8:00 minute miles – and they were all out of sight after the first half mile. We saw a guy smoking a cigarette with his girlfriend before the race – I passed him at about the first ½ mile. We kept climbing and climbing. We rounded several more curves – again – more climbing. Then after the first mile marker – we had a slight downhill. I was doing 6:30’s at that point for a few hundred yards. Garmins are great, aren’t they?

Then we went uphill again – and I thought to myself – I can handle this. Then we got to the water stand and the trail started. It was steeper than the road. I thought – this should level out some time – then it got steeper. Right after the Mile 2 marker – I passed Mark – he had stopped and was taking a drink of water. Then – more climbing. And it got steeper – and I walked a little – maybe 20-30 yards. At this point – I was doing 12-13 minute miles. I love my Garmin. This was my first race with it.

Then I rounded another curve – and it seemed like around every curve – it got even steeper. So I made sure I had my lean, and that I was taking short steps, and I remembered the uppercuts. For about the next 3-4 miles – I was pretty much run-walking. When it got less steep – I ran. When I got to another steep portion – I walked. When I got to mile 5 – my total time was 1 hour, 5 minutes. Usually on a half marathon – I’m at or past mile 7 at the 1-hour mark. Then I got discouraged. I was thinking this is the slowest half marathon I’ve ever run – but the scenery was unbelieveably beautiful. Steep cliffs, deep blue or aquamarine, turquoise – so many versions of blue in the ocean.

On parts of these hills – 5 or 10 people in front of me and 5 or 10 people behind me were walking – so I knew it wasn’t just me. These were tough hills. Just like mile 19 in the San Diego marathon – everyone I was with walked.

I always thought of myself as a trail runner – I’ve done PV with Gary, I’ve done El Moro in Orange County several times – there’s a great 10-mile loop there – but nothing prepared me for this. I’ve never run 6 miles continuously up hill – and it kicked my butt. Then I also mixed in some of Danny’s sideways/sidestepping – and that seemed to help. Then I got to the top around mile 6 – and my legs felt like jello. I was so whooped – and I wasn’t even half way done. I was going to finish – you pretty much have to on this one – but it wasn’t going to be pretty. Then I had a little downhill – and I let myself go and that felt great. A woman passed these two guys – and they said something discouraging about taking downhills too fast. Those guys obviously don’t know much about Chi running. Then it started going uphill again – really steep – and I heard Mark behind me. He said “Hey Chief” and we walked that hill and ran some more. We probably ran together for a mile or two. Then I was on my own again. And I was tired, and sore and I wondered what I was doing here. And my shoulders were sore from all of the upper cuts.
I was hating this stupid race. Why do they even call it the Buffalo run when you don’t see any buffalo? And what’s up with a 16 or 18 minute mile? My 84-year old mother can walk faster than that. I was hating life at this point.

What was I thinking? Why in the !@#$%(*&^% did I decide to run this race anyway? Obviously – I wasn’t thinking or I wouldn’t be getting up at 5 am to get my legs beat with baseball bats and get my ass kicked and handed to me on a platter. I could be in bed, curled up with Michele instead of this torture.

Then it was getting hot – and I stopped for water and Gatorade at every aid station. I also had some of those Cliff blocks. Then it was not as steep and I pretty much ran every mile. I saw Steve and Gary – it was about mile 7.5 for me and 9.5 for them. They looked tired and didn’t say anything to me. Then I hit another aid station – and some more water, Gatorade, and cliff blocks – and I saw Mark on his way down. Then I had one steep part – then it leveled out – then I hit mile 9 and turned around – and it was all downhill after that. I hit the aid station again – got a handful of Cliff blocks – and kept running. At mile 10 – it was still pretty steep. I was running 9 to 9:30’s at this point – but it was really steep and it was rocky – and I was afraid of slipping on the rocks.

Then I hit the aid station right past Mile 10 – filled up on more water, Gatorade, and Cliff blocks. By this time I was getting some kind of sugar buzz and getting all liquored up from the Gatorade and Cliff blocks – and I was running behind 2 guys – we were doing 9 minute miles – which is pretty good. By this point the path was wide, flat, and no rocks. It was still steep – but I decided that I didn’t have to run behind these guys – I was a Chi Runner – and I leaned forward a little – and took off. Within a 20-30 yards – I was doing 7 minute miles – and passing everybody I could see. I flew by the guys I was running behind – and not only passed everyone I could see – I flew by them. I’ve kept up with Gary stride for stride on a PV run – not under race conditions – but I’ve kept up with him under training run conditions – and I’ve got some of his magic/mojo for running downhill.

I continued to pass people. I checked my Garmin – I was doing 6:13 to 6:30 minute miles – and loving it! I passed at least 10-15 people. I was going so fast – I almost missed one of the curves. I was within about 1 foot of going over the edge before I corrected myself. It was pure gravity pulling me down. I just let go – leaned forward – and let my stride kick out the back and let myself go ridiculously fast downhill. It was one of the best kicks I’ve ever had in a race or a training run. When I passed people – it wasn’t just passing them – I flew by them. It was so fun. Then after 2-3 miles of this exhilaration – we got to the road – and it was still slightly downhill but not as steep – and I kept passing people. I was doing 7:00 to 7:30 minute miles by this point – but I continued to pass people – and it was so fun. No one passed me while I from mile 9 on down. And I said to myself – I said self – no one passes the Great White going downhill. (The Great White was a nickname given to me a long time ago by some people I worked with).

Once we were back on the road – I only passed 3 or 4 people – and I couldn’t see anyone else to pass up – so I ran with this guy from South Africa for a while. Once I got to the last half mile – I saw a chunky guy to my right – and I said to myself – this guy is toast – I’m totally passing this guy up – and I did – I blew right by him. And I had about ¼ of a mile to go – and I saw this woman – and I said to myself that she was not finishing ahead of me – so I leaned forward a little more and blew right past her as well. Then I had about 200 yards to go – and I wanted to finish strong – so I kept up a strong pace –then I saw I Steve and Gary with their cameras filming me – so I totally had to make sure I had the proper form – the lean , the arms, etc. for a Beach Runner – and then I was done. And I was so glad to be done with this race.

Even though none of us made it to the podium (we did meet several people who did – such a small field) but I’ve got my own awards.

First of all – the Sandbagger Award – is a tie – going to both Gary and Steve. Before the race – both of those two were whining about how little they had trained, how out of shape they were, yada, yada, yada. Gary was in Thailand and Cambodia for a month – Steve had the herniated disc – by the way these guys were carrying on on the boat ride over – you thought these guys couldn’t even make it to the finish. Steve even said he was just really going to take it easy. We started out – Gary was filming the start and it took him a while to catch up with us – but we started doing 8:00 minute and 7:30 minute miles. They took off pretty fast. After the first ½ mile – I totally lost them. Gary ended up finishing at something like 1:56 – 6th in his age group – Steve was around 2:03 and he made it 12th in our age group. Both of those guys smoked me by 20-30 minutes. So much for taking it easy and being so out of shape.

Mark Kirsh gets the “I can’t believe he’s here” award. After my last marathon – I spent 2 weeks sleeping in and stuffing myself in Italy. He ran the Miami marathon the week before the Buffalo run. And it wasn’t a flat race – it was pretty darned steep. I can’t imagine running this race a week after a marathon.

Jim gets the Most Improved Award. Jim is doing remarkably better on hills since the last time I ran hills with him in Palos Verdes. Steve, Gary and I were discussing how much progress he’s made since last summer. Way to go, Jim.

Jim also gets another award – the Babe Magnet award. Just looking at Jim – Babe magnet isn’t exactly the first thing that pops to your mind. Jim’s a decent enough looking guy – but not really what I would consider a Babe Magnet. Then he puts on the Uncle Sam hat. I always wondered why he wore that hat. It’s not really aerodynamic. And it doesn’t really shade his face much – but it sure does get a lot of attention from the ladies! He had several pictures taken with babes – young, older, and everything in between – and sometimes several women. Congratulations – Babe Magnet.

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And that concludes my race report. Will I run this next year?? I don’t know. If I could only do some more hill work………….

Beach Runner and SoCalRunning Member and “Good ol Boy Yoga Teacher”,
George White

Larry’s Honolulu Marathon Race Report

Well, get me my moo-moo, make a pitcher of mai tais and call me a Honolulu Marathon finisher!
 
And, believe me, no one more than I is surprised.  I trained for and finished the Long Beach half-marathon in October, and the farthest I’ve run since then is 11 miles so I started out at 5 a.m. this morning looking forward to having a good time stopping off at Denny’s for a Grand Slam breakfast if the mood so struck me.
 
At mile 13, I was feelin’ good so I kept going.  At mile 17, I still felt pretty good other than needing to make some “adjustments”; at mile 20, it struck me as being ridiculous to stop so, at that point, I just kept going and before I knew it, I crossed the finish line!
 
Did I PR (personal record)?  No, but for anyone hoping to do so, the Honolulu Marathon is definitely not the ticket. 
 
Having now completed two marathons, my “expert” opinion tells me Honolulu is a slow one –from the course to the temperature to the participants but, ultimately, I had a good time, I’m still alive to talk about it and, hello, I’m in Hawaii!
 
Thanks to anyone and everyone who motivates and inspires me on a daily basis by being who you are on the way to becoming whom you hope to be!
 
My friend, Becky, arrived today, and we now have thoughts of doing a Hawaiian themed Christmas on her Internet radio show Friday night, the 22nd of December.  I’ll keep you posted.
 
With much love, maholo,

Larry – Beach Runners’ Sergeant at Arms & SoCalRunning.com Member