ASICS Archives - Marathon Goddess

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52 Races for 52 Faces- The last race!

Congratulations to all who ran the Los Angeles marathon presented by ASICS.  I seriously feel like we ran the last marathon on the planet.  For a little while anyways. With every week for the last year being a race week, I went from full throttle to nothing.  I seriously got in every race I could before the world shut down, and can I say… just in time.  I never would have finished my 52 races, it’s hardly the most important thing right now, it just feels so strange to go from an epic year of racing to ZERO!! Anyways…. a look back on one of the happiest marathons of my life. I was thrilled to hire Nadia Ruiz to start coaching me to have a PR at LA.  As my 52 races went on, week after week, I started to get faster and stronger.  Yet, towards the end, the weekly races, the social media, the exhaustion of working a full time job and writing a new book started to take a toll. Nadia knew it and was very mindful of that. Being on Team NEWSTRONG with ASICS for an International Women’s Day campaign was a dream. Even though I was exhausted, I stayed strong, because this wasn’t about me, this was about the people I was running for. My favorite quote from Nadia when Carrie Tollefson asked us what does being strong mean to you?  Nadia responded, “Being strong means knowing it’s ok to be weak.”  It couldn’t be more true in this current situation.  Nadia also called it in regards to COVID-19.  She knew a shut down could happen any minute, and here we are. Anyways, we headed into race week, I started to struggle with sleep issues.  When you’re almost 50, that really affects you.  I used to pull all nighters at 28, take a shower, go to work and look great.  NOT ANYMORE.  LOL I can barely function, but I do. Nadia is able to push through adversity like I’ve never seen, which is why I hired her.  She ran a 3:17!!! I can push through adversity too, just not as fast and that’s ok.  I did my best and that’s all she wanted.  I didn’t give in to just having a fun race, I realized that the speed wasn’t there, 2 days of expos with no sleep before a race is not the best way to taper. I started off my race HAPPY, I slept almost 6 hours on Saturday night which is unheard of for me. The last 2 LA Marathons, I ran on zero sleep, so this was a dream. The shout out from Team Noisy at the start was epic.  I lost an air pod at mile 8, went back and looked for it, couldn’t find it, (cost me about 5 min). However, in retrospect was the greatest thing ever, I could hear all my friends calling out my name. I was carrying too much stuff, with no place to put it, so the first 5 miles was tricky.  Juggling Cliff bars, extra air pods, 5-hour energy, and tampons with not enough space to carry was interesting. Lack of sleep caused me to be ill prepared for that.  Even with all this mishegas, I honestly was the happiest I’ve ever been in a marathon.  I was running strong and feeling good. I really couldn’t have run any faster, (maybe by 5 minutes if I pushed it?)   But I was good.  Smiling, elbow bumping and singing my way to the finish of race 52 in 52 weeks. Let’s talk about Mile 21 shall we?  As you turned the corner off of  Wilshire onto San Vicente, the Purple People Party awaited you put on by the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer.  There were cheers, friends, music, balloons, not to mention 26 bikes set up by Cycle Bar as a fundraiser to cure pancreatic cancer.  It was a Tour de Pier pop up.  Someone even running the marathon jumped on a bike for a minute.  How epic is that?  When I arrived at that mile, the greeting I got was OVER THE TOP.  Even KTLA was there, we did an interview and then off I went.  Supercharged with the most energy I’ve ever felt at the end of a marathon, running the last 3 miles under a 10 min pace and feeling AMAZING was everything. I ran for: Survivor Peggy Eastham. Dedicated by his adoring friend Laurence Cohen- Strive to Survive 💜 For SURVIVOR Robert Sandstrom Dedicated in his honor by his beautiful wife and HTT runner Lisa Day Sandstrom. 💜 For Teri Hazzard Dedicated in her honor and memory by her beautiful daughter and HTT runner Erica Hazzard 💜 For Albert P. Ballog, Jr. dedicated in his honor and memory by his beautiful daughter and HTT runner Sarah Ballog Smith. 💜 For Patricia Ward dedicated in her honor and memory by her beautiful daughter and HTT runner Jeanne Sarmiento. With all the signs leading up to the race.  The number 52 kept popping up everywhere and finishing the race with a magical number, according to my experience app with a 4:44. Also, according to a random article on the internet (lol), can mean the angels are there to assist you in your life’s journey.  I see that number all the time and I truly believe it.  My time was later adjusted to a 4:43:59, but I am rounding up.  (Nothing is perfect) It may not have been a PR, but maybe it was. I really had no idea how the day was going to turn out.  Without giving in to just having a “fun” race, I still did my best. So why do I think it was personal record? Because I truly felt the happiest I’ve ever felt while running a marathon and for that I am so grateful.  Some of the weekly races got so hard that it started to steal my joy of running away and to end it on such a high note was EVERYTHING.  PR’s can come in many different ways.  It’s all about how you look at it. While these race cancellations and lockdowns really suck, they will keep us healthy and safe. Like Nadia said, it’s ok to be weak and breakdown, as long as you get back up.  I am personally struggling hard with not being able to see my family.  Let’s do the best we can.  There are a lot of things we can’t do right now and out of our control, but think of what we can. Go start that blog or vlog that you’ve always wanted to, write a book, screenplay or start cooking.  As of now, you can still go out and run… by yourself, and keep 6 feet away from anyone.  Stay positive, stay healthy, the glass is half full if you choose to look at life that way, so why not, it’s better than the alternative!  Let’s live to see another marathon!   What will I do next?  I am working on doing a weekly blog, or newsletter to keep you informed, inspired and entertained.  We Got This!  
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5 Tips on how to get out of a running rut!

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 9.52.33 PM In a rut? When the going get’s tough, the tough go shopping! 1. If you can, get a new pair of ASICS running shoes to invigorate you. If you can’t, you’re in luck, because at the end of this blog, you can enter to win your choice of available brand new ASICS on ASICS.COM Yeah! New running shoes always make me want to get out and run, especially the new GEL NIMBUS17s! 2. Call a friend and make a commitment to run, it works wonders. That’s what friends are for and return the favor if you see them in a rut. 3. Make sure you have had enough recovery time and you have not been overtraining too long, if so, you might need the rest. 4. Go outside, or get on a treadmill, start by walking and warming up. Do a little run/walk, then run. Just start. 5. Create a goal and sign up for a race. A 5K, 10K, quarter marathon, half or full. Here’s a great one I know, the Kona Marathon. Code HOLIDAY will even save you $15 🙂 5.1 Enter this giveaway to WIN a FREE pair of your choice of available ASICS shoes. Good luck and #GoRunIT ENTER HERE —–> ASICS GIVEAWAY Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 8.01.03 AM mbassador
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Flashback: The 2012 New York Marathon, The Marathon that Never Was!

The 2012 New York City Marathon was supposed to be Marathon number 32 in my streak of 52 marathons in 52 weeks, but it turned out to be, “The Marathon that Never Was.”  Now some 40 marathons later, we’re back and still going strong. 
Marathon 96, in my new Purple ASICS!

Marathon 96, in my new Purple ASICS!

Here’s a great example of what my life was like during the 52 marathons in 52 weeks, although this example is a little extreme.  Take The 2012 New York City Marathon. You may be thinking, there was no New York City Marathon in 2012.  That is correct, because about 1 hour after we landed in NYC and checked into out hotel; we found out, due to Super Storm Sandy, the marathon was cancelled.  Now what?  To keep the streak alive, I had to run a marathon that weekend.  I wrote about my New York Marathon Experience in my blog titled: The Marathon that Never Was! “It started as an exciting adventure, which quickly took a sharp turn.  As super storm sandy slammed down on the east coast, it took a piece of my heart along with it.  For me, I went to New York to run, along a with so many others, to show the American people that we are a courageous people in the face of heartbreak and recommit to hope and possibility when things are the hardest.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  We arrived on Friday at JFK.  In the cab ride to our hotel our driver was telling us all the horror stories going on.  Generators and back up generators were sitting there, not being used, and in place for the marathon.  Meanwhile there were still millions without power and shelter and some without food.  My heart sank.  As we got closer to the hotel I saw a two mile long line of cars waiting for gas.  Then I see a hanging crane dangling over the city streets. Wind had broken the massive steal crane, dozens of stories above the city streets.  If not for the wires holding it, the top of the crane, dangling 100s of feet above, would have crashed to the ground. The streets were barricaded off and no one was allowed within a block or two. I sank deeper into the floor of the taxi.  What other horrors were we in for, I wondered?  We arrive at our hotel and get a quick bite and we are ready to head to the expo for a great opportunity and interview with Poland Springs water.  I had CBS/KCAL news following my marathon adventure in New York, which quickly became more interesting to them because within just minutes after we arrived at our hotel, we hear a rumor that the marathon was cancelled.  The rumor quickly became a reality and honestly my first reaction was a sense of relief. The next thing I did was order a drink and console friends.  There was a young woman, who had also just arrived, and similar to us, also had not been to her room yet.  She had come all the way from London to do the New York Marathon. Ouch!  She was horrified, in a sad and quiet way. Now I had to figure out the next plan of action.  Quick find another marathon!  I called friends, posted on Facebook, someone please register me for the Santa Clarita marathon in California. I knew it was on the same day as New York. Next, get a flight home.  Called my travel agent and we booked the first available flight, back to LA, the next morning. We made the best out of our 12 hour stay in NYC.  I had a big press conference with the New York Roadrunners and a photo shoot which had all been cancelled.  A fantastic article in the official program was printed in mass.  Thousands of them, that no one got to see. L It would have been huge for Pancreatic Awareness.  We then had a nice dinner with David’s family, snuck into Central Park and did a quick bandit run.  The finish line had mostly been erected, but now completely abandoned.  With absolutely no one around, at night, in minimal street lighting, we ran the finish line of the New York Marathon.  Somehow, with no one there to give us a medal or even notice, it still felt good.  There is something special about a finish line, even one not fully assembled.
Sneaking into Central Park to run through the finish line ;0

Sneaking into Central Park to run through the finish line ;0

    Early next morning we hop on a plane back to LA, with little to no sleep.  Once arrived, we immediately drive to the Santa Clarita marathon expo to register. After another few hours of sleep, Sunday morning, I am off and running the Santa Clarita marathon, #32 of 52.  The 52 lives on and the people of NYC were heard. On the way to my marathon I heard that thousands of marathoners were on the ferry to Statin Island, to help out the now homeless and displaced.  Though the storm had destroyed the hopes of the marathon, the marathoners had brought a little hope to those in need.  That made my heart sing. Santa Clarita marathon was hot and fun. It was not NYC.  We had 500 marathoners vs. 50,000.  I ended up running 28 miles.  At mile 14 I went back to help out a friend who was ready to quit, which gave me the extra miles.   This marathon adventure was a bit crazy, but nothing as hard as the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Here is a picture of me sneaking into Central Park the night the race was cancelled to run through the finish line and on the right, here I am finishing Santa Clarita that same weekend.  Nothing would stop us, not even Super Storm Sandy!  
The Santa Clarita Marathon, marathon 32 of 52! We did it!

The Santa Clarita Marathon, marathon 32 of 52! We did it!

The New York Marathon will always be special, not only because of the amazing spirit and the people, but my Dad was from Brooklyn, I know he’d be proud and I know he’s still here with me.  Next week is Santa Clarita Marathon, next week!?  Here we go again!! We Got This! Please donate today and let’s put pancreatic cancer out of business!  Thank You!  Click here to donate to Project Purple!
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How to survive back-to-back marathon marathons!

Just recently, I ran The Bank of America Chicago Marathon and The Rock n Roll Denver Marathon, which were a week apart,  and I guess what? I am exhausted, but I’m alive and filled with a sense of accomplishment of  completing marathons 94, 95 and 1 step closer  to 100.  Now with the New York Marathon less than 1 week a away, the question is, How does one survive back-to-back marathons? Recovery is the name of the game.  It’s important to make sure you are getting enough protein which rebuilds muscle tissue, sleep which replenishes hormones, hydration and minerals which are also very important for recovery. In terms of running midweek between marathons, don’t do it.   Stretching, is good, recovery takes precedent over training when you have a week between marathons. For us non-elite runners,  it’s important to slow down your pace when running frequent marathons.  It helps to take the marathons slower, you utilize less resources, which make recovery quicker and reduce the risk of injury. I pushed it a little in Chicago to a 4:38, even while stopping to take pictures and giving out hugs on the course.  The course was super flat, so that helped. Do you know the joke about the Chicago Marathon? “What’s the biggest hill in the Chicago Marathon? … The Curb 🙂 ”
Photo Op with the Project Purple Flag at mile 3 in the Chicago Marathon.  Fun!!

Photo Op with the Project Purple Flag at mile 3 in the Chicago Marathon. Fun!!

  Then there was the RocknRoll Denver Marathon one week later. I knew it was going to be slow with the altitude and heat and it was just that.I finished in 5 hours and 20 minutes, with a smile on my face and a skip in my step.  Partly because I had my Project Purple Team waiting for me at the finish line, I was thinking about all the amazing pancreatic cancer survivors I was running for.
Awesome to have friends at the finish line!!!

Awesome to have friends at the finish line!!!

The Project Purple Team.  Running to BEAT pancreatic cancer!

The Project Purple Team. Running to BEAT pancreatic cancer!

Now with just a few days left before the New York City Marathon, I am getting excited, not only because it’s one of the top marathons in the world, but also because I just received my brand new kicks, for marathon 96,  my new Purple ASICS! Good thing too because the Santa Clarita Marathon is the follwing weekend.  Marathon 97 with these ASICS will be like running in Heaven!

ASICS

Check out these Awesome Gel- Quantum 360s!!!

We Got This!

Please click here to make a tax deductible donation to Project Purple and help support my efforts to beat pancreatic cancer.  Donate Today

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How do I run so many marathons and not get injured?

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 10.25.55 PMThis is the question I get all the time?  How do you stay injury free?  I’ll tell you. The key to running multiple marathons back to back is all about recovery.  If you are not recovered from the first, you stand a high risk of being injured on the second.  Being sedentary is not as productive for cellular regeneration as something that will generate greater blood flow in the affected areas.  Running in water, walking, even swimming may generate that greater blood flow.   In addition to recovery, creating less cellular damage in the muscles can be important, as well. This can be done by running slower and even walking during parts of your marathons. When I am running back to back marathons, I slow down my pace by at least an hour of what I am capable of running so that I can recover quicker.
Before your first marathon, building additional strength, to support the joints, during a marathon, can be beneficial to injury prevention.  Stretching can also be beneficial to reduce tightness which could create pulling and imbalance issues. There are many other components like, nutrition, getting enough protein for recovery, like my favorite Vega protein shakes, proper shoes, like my favorite ASICS,  getting enough  sleep and of course marathon training, but you’ll have to buy the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Marathon Training for that, written by David Levine (my husband) and Paula Petrella 🙂
That’s all for now.  Hope to see you out there out there on the course.  Running to beat pancreatic cancer. #wegotthis
Running Day Shoe Giveaway: On June 3rd (National Running Day), for every 100 tweets using the hashtag #GoRunItJune3, ASICS will give away a free pair of running shoes to a random winner.  
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What I learned at the ASICS LA Marathon: Mental Toughness is Not Enough!!

Who remembers this training tip I posted a week before the marathon? “Extended forecast is in and it’s getting hotter by the minute. Yikes. Your heart rate will be higher so everything will feel more difficult and you will deplete resources quicker, so you need to take in more resources( water, carbs & minerals) and possibly slow down. If water starts to taste bad or you feel nauseous or you’ve gone a long time without water and don’t want it, you are probably sodium depleted and suffering from hyponatremia. This can become a dangerous condition. Get some sodium in you fast Like these salt tabs.They can also help with cramping. On hot days I take one every 30 minutes. You also need a minimum of 4 to 8 ounces of water every 10 to 15 min of running. Stay cool and hydrated. Be prepared and you will have a great race. We Got This!!” But did I listen? Not even close. I commend those of you who did, you probably had a great race. It’s been over 3 years since I’ve “raced” a marathon. For the 52, I was running to finish, without a care in the world about my time. It’s so much fun that way. But at LA, dispite the heat, I thought to myself, “I’m good.” I was wrong. I forgot how much fuel you really need. 1.) I need to consume enough carbs, in a form I can digest. There were a couple gels in a little stretchy zippered pouch I was wearing around my waist. It became impossible to get the gels and mineral pills out of there, while running. On the other hand, I don’t enjoy gels. A different form of carbohydrate is something I need to work on finding, and a different way to carry them. 2.) When it comes to big hills early in a race, I need to take them a tad slower, and to start my race slower. I did not do bad, but there was room for improvement early on during the race. 3.) I need to find some enjoyable way to raise my heart rate way up, during training, for short periods of time (over six minutes), to raise my ability level. I was doing some strong faster runs, at the end of my longer runs and I had a lot of volume, I peaked at over 80 miles in a week. But I was probably slightly fatigued after the long run, and may not have raised my heart rate enough to really make an impact on my VO2 Max levels. I probably had about 125 calories the entire race, when you actually need that or more, per hour. I summoned the mental toughness, I dug deep, but guess what? There was nothing there. As soon as I was out of the VA, my pace slowed from about a 9 min mile to a 10:30, I was done. My only hope was that maybe somehow, someway, David would be waiting for me at the finish line and he was. The silver lining that made me realize that in the end, even though I didn’t qualify for Boston, all that really matters in life, is how much you loved. xo Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 5.26.27 PM