Run with the Stars: Celebrities Running the LA Marathon

A new addition to the celebrities group of marathoners, Shia LaBeouf will be joining me and the rest of runners of the Los Angeles Marathon on March 21, 2010. Known for his starring role in Transformers, he will be running to raise money for the non-profit US Vets. Good to finally hear some celebrity marathon news since Ed Norton.

Actress Tanna Frederick (currently starring in Henry Jaglom’s “Irene in Time”) will also be running the marathon to benefit the North Iowa Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NIAMI), and the North Iowa Transition Center (http://www.northiowatransitioncenter.org/). Hopefully Shia and Tanna will shame the rest of the Hollywood celebrities who chose not to join the ranks of celebrity marathoners (especially with *the* marathon in their own backyard!)

Here is a list of famous people who ran the LA Marathon in the past (I better beat Freddie Prinze):*

Scott Bakula, Los Angeles Marathon 2005 (4:10:21)

Freddie Prinze, Jr., Los Angeles Marathon 2006 (5:50:49)

Nick Hexum, Vocalist from 311, Los Angeles Marathon 2006 (5:29:44) and 2007 (5:39:?)

Dexter Holland, Vocalist from The Offspring, Los Angeles Marathon (5:09:?)

*source Wikipedia (http://wikipedia.com)

Product Review: Injinji Socks

First off, let’s just throw it out there that I do *not* run in Vibrams. I have no real desire to do so my gait (neutral forefoot strike) is fine as it is – plus they don’t really match my racing outfits. To each his own, I have no strong feelings for or against Vibrams for other people, this is just my own personal decision.

That being said, I was recently given a pair of Injinji Socks to try on a few runs. For those of you who are not familiar with them, Injinji Socks are toe socks made for running, sports, walking around the kitchen, etc. and allegedly work great with Vibrams. Well, I run in K-Swiss Konejos so that wasn’t about to happen.

I took the socks out for a 6 mile run on a rainy day. Right around mile 3 I accidently landed in a puddle, both shoes SOAKED. I wasn’t about to turn around and end my run just there (hello, training!) so I finished up and much to my surprise, the socks dried up a little in my shoes. Whatever moisture wicking material used, is *really* good.

Although I wouldn’t recommend them for people who run in non-vibram shoes, the socks are super soft, almost cashmere like, so I felt like I was sliding around in my shoes (even when I was completely dry before the puddle.)

Is Being Race Crazy Like Being Boy Crazy?

This is going to be a mixed bag of things (part race report, part social commentary, part me waxing philosophical about life among other things). Consider yourselves warned.

Mile 11: Best signage ever.

Now that I have wrapped up with the Surf City Half Marathon, my sixth half marathon to date and consequentially the anniversary of my first half marathon ever, a few conflicting feelings rose to the surface. The race was such a great experience that I immediately looked to sign up for another immediately. Not only that, I started looking at more half challenges (4 half marathons in 5 weeks to level up in Half Fanatics).

Only a few months ago after the Malibu Half Marathon (the tail end of a string of four half marathons scheduled extremely close together) I told myself I was DONE with racing like a maniac. It had gotten to the point where the races almost weren’t exciting. Even though my times were improving from a major fail post injury, I didn’t feel like I was physically accomplished after a race.

So I asked myself the “WHY” for racing. Why did I do it to begin with? Why would I want to do a high volume when I did? Why don’t I want to do it now?

Whenever I think of conflicting feelings, I usually equate them to dating analogies, since anything involving matters of the heart are usually the hardest to figure out yet the easiest to illustrate… (don’t judge me)

Surf City 2009: Don't let the face fool you, happiest moment ever!

The immediate answer was Surf City 2009, my very first half marathon. I can still picture every moment as soon as the finish line was in my line of sight, the tears, elation, adrenaline rush, complete awe, my heart even skipped a beat I was so happy. It was kind of like falling in love for the first time. Everything is just perfect. The next day, the race was over and it was gone. Post race depression set in. “How am I ever going to feel that way ever again?” I know… run more races! As many as possible!

I started running half marathons every few weeks. And every half marathon race looked good to me… I was completely boy crazy (to continue w/ the race/relationship analogy). And much like irrational boy craziness, every race had left me a little empty and with a broken heart. Didn’t hit goal time, didn’t PR, didn’t feel good afterward, they ran out of small tech tees at the expo, etc. I desperately kept looking to find that feeling I had when I ran Surf City the first time and kept coming up empty. I even opted on upping the ante and running my first full marathon – still, nothing really compared to the first time. Every running playlist might as well have had “Total Eclipse of the Heart” play on an infinite loop it was so bad.

Disillusioned with myself, my performance, lack of real improvement, amount of money I had been spending on races, I swore it off for a while. December and January were all about “training for Surf City round 2″ – when race day finally came around, my feelings towards racing went back to neutral. I also had no expectations going in on how it would feel to finish.

When I crossed the finish line, something magical happened. I ran the race faster than expected (would have PR’d if I had tried) I remember crossing the finish line thinking, that’s it – wait did I really just ask myself that?! Immediately followed by OMG is this what it feels like to be in shape?! My heart flatlined. It wasn’t like puppy love it was like “this love is serious” love.

I fell in love all over again with racing via Surf City. This happened because I treated it like something special from the get go, it wasn’t “just another half” it was something I talked about a month in advance, anticipated, prepared for (mentally) and eventually absolved myself of.

Allison Burbage and me Surf City 2010: I had no clue what I was in for...

Even now as I am typing this, I simultaneously wonder “how am I ever going to feel that way again?” I started looking at the half fanatics page. “Hmmm 4 races in 5 weeks would bump me up a few planet levels.” But, first things first. For now, I am going to try to be as conservative as possible with race picks and not do them every month (as it stands I’m not doing another half till July – SF Marathon). My ultimate goal is subbing a 2 hr half marathon. I also have a side goal of 4 marathons in one month (consecutive weekends) – but not till after the sub 2.

Even then, with having these goals, all I really want to is give some sort of reason to my madness. If I could race with a bird hat on and feel accomplished so be it. And, I still want to do my 4 half marathon month tour de force, as long as I can mentally wrap my brain around the goal/accomplishment. I just hope that I don’t end up racing around town like a hussy and looking for runs in all the wrong places.

Lace Up To Save Lives

Some of the world’s most popular athletes have joined forces in the global fight against AIDS/HIV in Africa in the form of some pretty cool looking laces. Nike’s (RED) lace campaign aims to raise money for the fight against AIDS/HIV with the proceeds from limited edition laces. They only cost $4 and are available at stores or www.nike.com. 100% of the profit go to The Global Fund to Fight AIDS. Pretty cool!

Check out the campaign vid:

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