Monday, March 21, 2011

running in the rain

    LA Marathon 2011

The LA marathon was an experience of a lifetime. It was physical demanding, but it was fantastic. Knowing that I ran 26.2 miles is very empowering and I feel amazing about it.


The adventure started in December and since then it has been a very enjoyable ride. On Saturday night, I made sure to lay out my outfit, shoes, ipod, and energy snacks. I felt very paranoid about forgetting something so I did a few OCD checks that night. I debated about what to wear for a while. I am so glad that I wore long sleeve underarmour. I also wanted to get a good nights rest since I was getting up at 4 am. I had a difficult time getting to sleep. I usually am an early bed time-goer but I couldn’t relax, I was so excited and anticipating the next day. I probably went to bed at 12:30 or 1. And at 4:00 my alarm went off. I have never been more excited to jump out of bed!

By 4:30 I was in my car, on the 405 headed to Santa Monica. I was worried that I might hit traffic and miss my shuttle to Dodgers Stadium. Luckily, everything was very organized. There were many signs directing you to the appropriate parking lot and to the shuttle station. The shuttle to Dodger’s stadium was a short ride and when we got there I had a banana and bagel and took a walk and absorbed all the excitement. A little before 7, I ran into my friend Daisy and talking to her put me at ease. A quick trip to the bathroom and then I was in line waiting for the gun to go off. The 20 minutes I waited among other runners flew by.
... and they're off...

When the gun went off, it was difficult to actually start running because of the amount of people. There were people pushing you on all sides, people cutting you off and stopping right infront of you. That part was extremely frustrating but by the 1st mile marker people had spread out and I had a little more room to run. The run was great. The weather was nice with a little bit of a breeze. I think that I was running at my normal pace for most of the race. I didn’t feel tired or out a breath for a while, which was a very exciting thing. The view across LA was also amazing. For the first few miles, I didn’t break a sweat- probably because of the scattered rain. The race went through chinatown, little tokyo, echo park and Berndall Park. I was having a great race around this time. By around mile 10, we were at the Pantages Theather and then in Hollywood & Vine and then Hollywood walk of fame.

I think the sights were a great distraction to my fatigue and spastically there were down pours of rain followed by sprinkling. The weather was crazy!!! Around mile 15, I started to get a little bit overwhelmed because I didn’t know on what mile I was on. The route continues through the Sunset Strip and then into Beverly Hills and
Rodeo Drive
. This was kinda cool because going through these streets reminded me of random events from my college career. We went by the Laugh Factory, some cantina where my sorority had a Margaritaville themed event, Mel’s diner, and a bunch of other places that reminded me of my coed days. By mile 17 my left hamstring started to feel tight and my goal changed to “let’s get to mile 20”. I think making the run shorter (at least in my head) helped me out a lot. I was able to get to mile 20 feeling good (3 stars out of 5). Somewhere between mile 20 and 21, I hit a wall. I was so tired. All of a sudden my legs cramped up!!! It felt awful L I think it was at the end of mile 21, volunteers were giving away beer instead of the traditional cups of water. This made me laugh, and I needed that. That little distraction helped me get though the Veteran’s Administration in
West LA.
The run through Brentwood (22-23) was difficult! I wanted to stop and sit. I was about ready to be done. I am so happy that there were so many happy and motivating volunteers to cheer us on. They were great. And because they were there, I didn’t stop. I couldn’t. Brentwood is really close to Santa Monica. And at some point, I realized that fact and my body stopped hurting when I hit mile 24. I though I can run 2 miles so I picked up the pace. My legs were killing me but I had to dig deep and tell myself that I couldn’t quit after running 24 miles. What’s 2 more?! So I ran, harder and faster. At least, I felt like I was. I didn’t seem to be getting any closer to the pier. Then I heard someone say 8 more blocks, 6 more blocks. Everything I heard how much more, I got a little spur of energy. I wanted to be DONE!! And then finally I saw it.  The Finish Line. It was about 800 meters. I thought about high school track. I think I sprinted in a 400 meter race once. I could probably sprint to the finish line. Well, turns out I couldn’t ha-ha. I was so tired, my legs were so tight. I sprinted maybe 200 meters and then jogged 300 meters and then sprinted the last 300 meters. I felt like the finish line was getting further away. The rain and wind weren’t helping at all. When I finally crossed the finish line after 4 hours and 29 minutes. I wanted to lay down, even in the giant puddles that had accumulated on the streets. I didn’t because the volunteers didn’t let me. Some one helped me find a blanket, aka plastic bags to keep me “dry” and then I was ready to get out of Santa Monica, out of the rain and wind and into some dry clothes.


After crossing the finish line, there were photographers, food and water. I was so cold and wet I did not even stop to dehydrate. I didn't feel like I needed to, my body had absorbed all the water I could handle. The wind was blowing so hard, I didn't even stop to stretch. I just kept walking. On my way to my car, someone mistook me for a student running with the Students Run LA group and offered me a sweater at the Civic Center. I felt so bad about lying and letting him think I was a student but I was so wet and cold. I took the sweater and a cup of hot chocolate. It’s a nice sweater, but I do feel bad about impersonating a student. I think Sunday’s rain storm was the worst rain storm to hit LA EVER! It was so wet and windy, my feet and hands were pruny and I was freezing. It absolutely sucked but I still had a great time and I would do it again.

Next race: April 16 2011 in San Diego- it’s a half marathon (YAY!!!)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Marathon: run your own race

One more day!!

Yesterday I went to the LA Maraton Expo at Dodger Stadium to pick up my bib number and check in. Being around the energy really pumped me up. Everyone was so excited. There were runners of all ages and background and it reminded me that it was going to be a challenge  but I have been working so hard and there's no way I wasn't going to be great. Hours away from the marathon, I'm both nervous and excited. I can't wait for it to get here, and at the same time, I can't wait for it to be over.

Running races can be tricky. I understand that this is an individual sport and its not a good thing to compare yourself against a season marathon runner. But, that's hard to do. The gun goes off and you take off. It's going great, you've developed  a pace but at some point you think "I have to keep up/ beat this person". As tempting as that is for a competive person like myself,  I want to step back and remind myself that this is about me. It's not a race and I shouldn't be upset if I can't keep up with seasoned runners. My all means, I'm going to go hard but at my pace. It's going to be AWESOME !!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Child Nutrition

Feeding Your Child Right!

Even though your toddler or child may be a picky eater now or even go on binges where he will only want to eat a certain food, you should continue to offer a variety of foods. This includes small amounts of fruits and vegetables, as he may eventually try them if he isn't pressured or forced into eating them.
Remember that this is a period in your child's development where he is not growing very fast and doesn't need a lot of calories but lots of nutrients.

Vitamins and Minerals

Parents often worry that their kids don't get enough vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients from the foods they are eating. It is good practice to try and provide these nutrients to your child through the foods he is eating, such as:

Fruits and Vegetables

Many parents have a very hard time getting their kids to eat few if any vegetables on a regular basis. Most experts advise that you can often get kids to eat more veggies if you start early by offering your older infant and toddler a large variety of vegetables, set a good example by eating vegetables yourself, offering a lot of choices, and mixing vegetables into a food that your child already likes.

Getting kids to eat fruits is often a little easier, but are your kids eating enough fruits each day? Do you know how many servings of fruits your kids should be eating each day? For example, a 3-year-old male who is fairly active should eat 1.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruits each day. If you consider that 1/2 of a large apple or 1 large banana is equal to a cup of fruit, then it shouldn't be too hard to get your kids enough fruit each day.

Feeding a toddler can be frustrating. So why not give them the nutrients they need all at once, in a  Healthy Snack!

Herbalife Kids™ Shakes provide essential nutrition including protein, fiber and 100% of key nutrients to meet growing kids’ daily needs. Because they taste great, kids will ask for one every day—that’s the start of healthy eating habits they’ll rely on as they grow older.

Kindermins® fruit-flavored liquid multivitamin provides 11 essential vitamins infants and toddlers need every day.

MultiVites fruit-flavored chewable multivitamins provide 100% Daily Value of key nutrients to meet growing kids’ daily needs. Fun sports shapes keep kids coming back for more.

For more information on children's nutrition products, visit There are a number of ways parents can help their children eat healthier. Contact me for more information about ensuring your child's health.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Life is short... running makes it seem longer.

My body is feeling all this marathon training- mostly in a good way.  I can run 15 miles and still have energy to keep going. My lungs are in awesome shape and I'm feeling really good. 20 miles is another story, the pressure and pounding on the concrete gets to my joints. After a run up that dreaded hill on 190th, my right knee was swollen and hurting, so I made an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. I was expecting him to tell me to ice it or stay off of it for a few days. I was not prepared for what he suggested.

After an X-ray and MRI he diagnosed: Chondromalacia.

Chondromalacia literally means "softening of the cartilage", and Patellae means "the knee-cap". So Chondromalacia patellae means "softening of the articular cartilage of the knee-cap." The articular cartilage is the cartilage lining under the knee-cap that articulates with the knee joint. Under normal circumstances, it is smooth and shiny, so that it glides smoothly along the articular groove of the femur as the knee bends. When it "softens", it may break down, causing irregularities along the undersurface of the patella. My cartilage is thin and degrading, and consequently my joints are rubbing together. Bone on bone contact is not fun.

What does that mean?
His medical advice was very straight forward.  Because of the extent of damage he said, "If you want to be able to walk when you are 40, stop running."

Wow! The thought of not being able to run makes me a little teary-eyed. It may seem crazy but I've been running since I was 12. I started off on my 6th grade cross country team, jr. high & high school track team, and since I was 15, I have been running on a daily basis. Needless to say, this was a very emotional doctor's visit. I always thought I would be that frail little old lady who could run 'round and 'round the track. The possibility of not being able to do that, breaks my heart a little, but I'm stubborn an I probably will be that little old lady who runs around the track - maybe with a knee brace and a walker.

Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself I did a google search on Chondromalacia and came up with some information. Cartilage can't grow back so my best bet is to not to lose any more. Here are some treatment options for Runner's Knee aka Chrondromalacia.
  • Rest or Relative Rest: Run Less
  • Avoid exercises or activities that require your knees to be bent
  • Avoid running or walking downhill, downstairs or down inclines
  • Do posterior muscle stretches (hamstrings and calf muscles)
  • Do Straight Leg Lifts (Start with 3 sets of 10, work up to 10 sets of 10)
  • Check Your Feet and Shoes, overpronation often contributes to this problem
  • Consider More Stable Shoes (with better anti-pronation features)
  • Orthotics If Needed (OTC or Custom)
My running habits will have to change but I'm not going to stop running. I need to listen to my body better and ease up because I am definitely going to be doing this for many, many more years. :)   

" We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves. "
- Sir Roger Bannister

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

T-minus 19 days....

The Los Angeles Marathon is only days away. A marathon is a long-distance running event with an official distance of 26 .2 miles that is usually run as a road race. The name Marathon comes from the legend of Philippides, a Greek messenger. The legend states that he was sent from the battlefield of Marathon to Athens to announce that the Persians had been defeated in the Battle of Marathon.  It is said that he ran the entire distance without stopping and burst into the assembly, exclaiming “We have won” before collapsing and dying. Perfect image of what I'll look like come March 20th. can't wait!!!