“It seemed like a matter of minutes when we began rolling in the foothills before Oakland and suddenly reached a height and saw stretched out ahead of us the fabulous white city of San Francisco on her eleven mystic hills with the blue Pacific and its advancing wall of potato-patch fog beyond, and smoke and goldenness in the late afternoon of time.” — Jack Kerouac, On the Road
The San Francisco Marathon Ambassadors were out in force at the 2014 Boston Marathon. Like for many other runners, this marathon was our chance to honor the victims of the tragic events of last year, and also to pay tribute to the great people of Boston.
The Boston Marathon, more than ever, has shown to the world that it is the model of all marathons. Why is it so special? Yes, it is the oldest annual marathon, and the one that only admits accomplished marathoners based on qualifying standards. But yesterday’s marathon showed that it is much more than that.
Is there any other city that lives in perfect unison with its marathon like Boston? Boston is strong, as we have heard over and over since last year’s events. The total, unconditional success of the 2014 marathon made it stronger.
Celebration and camaraderie started at the finish line, where thousands gathered during the hours preceding the start of the marathon.
Runners then had the pleasure of attending their pasta dinner, a tradition not to be missed in Boston, where for the occasion the mayor, the race director and Bill Rodgers themselves served pasta to runners.
There were many more runners this year, 9,000 more to be precise, for a total of 36,000. It is only natural that runners had some concerns over logistics. The organization handled the extra strain wonderfully. To start, the restrictions on checked bags, well explained in advance to runners, did not create problems. Also, the loading onto the yellow buses that take runners to Hopkinton was neatly channeled for first time through actual bright yellow “gates”. There were 47 of them, as many as the buses in each fleet departing from downtown Boston in continuous […]
Year after year, we revere the third Monday in April, arguably the most sacred and meaningful day for the marathoning community: Boston Marathon Race Day. For over 100 years, Marathon Monday, Patriots Day, has been a day of celebration in the commonwealth—and for those lucky schoolkids and employees, a day off from school and work—but today, on the first-year race anniversary of an atrocious act of violence on our sport’s most hallowed ground, we can proclaim, with a conviction so deep and real that it’s palpable, that today is the most celebrated day in the running universe.
I started running when I was a just a kid. I ran my first race (that I can remember, at least) when I was six-years-old and cruised in for a mile time of 8:22. Not bad, right? I must admit, as I grew, I took many hiatuses from running for various reasons. But, I’ve always come back to it. I suppose it took me a while to fully appreciate and respect the sport; to figure out how to make it work for me, instead of against me. Without the proper understanding about running, it can be a most challenging beast to tame. And (spoiler alert!), until you figure it out, that bronco’s gonna buck. At least that was the case for me.
For many years, I was simply aghast at the thought of running a full marathon. 26.2 miles? Are you kidding me?! Even a half marathon was pushing it, but since there wasn’t the tale of the first person to ever run a half marathon and then collapsing to die upon finish, my case against it seemed to pack less of a punch. But, something inside of me decided to attempt the big 26.2 back in the early 2012 and I haven’t looked back since. By the time this is printed, with any luck, I will have completed my fifth full marathon, oodles of halves, and I won’t even admit to how many more fulls I have on the docket for fear someone might try and stage an intervention. Because, yeah, I’m that addicted.
Let me also say this, I work full time. I also have a daughter, a husband, and a determination not to let either feel neglected due to my running. I made […]
“Running is a mental sport and we’re all insane” ~bumper sticker on my car. I think it is safe to say that the majority of healthy adults could finish a marathon. Maybe they couldn’t run the whole way or qualify for Boston, but they could finish. So why has only approximately .5% of the US population actually accomplished this goal? It isn’t because their bodies can’t do it, it’s because their MINDS think they can’t. A marathon is run with strong legs, healthy lungs, pumping arms, a clear mind and an open heart.
Whether or not to listen to music while running can be a hot debate in the running community, but when I started running several years ago, I never even questioned it. It was just a given that I would. Seriously: Music was as integral a part of my early running experiences as shoes were. About 90% of the reason I started running in the first place was to have an excuse to buy a new iPod Nano, complete with Nike+ iPod kit. My husband’s first running-related gift to me was a mix of running songs from the iTunes store. I loved picking out new tunes and podcasts, making playlists, and developing deeply held opinions on the best headphones.
There are two important changes that most of us should try to incorporate into our running regime as soon as possible: a proper warm up and cool down
For years, coaches told their teams that stretching and loosening up prior to a race would improve performance, yet almost all recent research has shown that this recommendation is simply not true. All the jumping jacks in the world will not make you run faster in a race, nor will it improve your heart rate or stamina.
When we go to races we notice that some runners never compete in a race without a proper warm up or finish their day without a cool down. Conversely, almost all of the Striders never warm up properly before they begin, and never cool down after they are finished. Yet, years of research has determined that those who choose not to have a warm up or cool downs are usually the people who incur the most injuries, as warming up and cooling down now proves to be the single most important ingredient for injury prevention.
Both the warm-up and cool down are vital parts to any running program and should not be skipped under any circumstances.
Why Is Warming Up Important?
The warm-up is necessary because cold muscles are not very flexible, meaning that they are more likely to be torn or pulled. Warm muscles therefore have a wider range of motion. Before you begin any run, no matter how long it is, a warm-up jog and stretches should be performed for 5 to 20 minutes, depending on the duration and intensity of your workout. If you’re running a couple miles slow, then 5 minutes will do; however, if you’re running a track workout or […]
Recently I have been dealing with life’s adversities. At such a time, one’s immediate reaction is to whine and complain, “why me?” I look at life positively and say, “why not me?” Many things in life are beyond your control, but running is one within your grasp. The hours you put in will show up on your race day results. The mentality that goes into training will prep you for anything in life, especially training for a marathon.
The marathon in my view has to be one of the most demanding of all running distances, because it puts your body and mind to enormous stress, fatigue, anxiety and pain. And no one is excused from such pain. I question any marathoners that says they don’t feel pain at some point in time between mile 23-26.2. Physically, mentally and emotionally your mind tells you to stop, but you have to fight such a negative thought and go on. Running requires a great mental attitude. There will be so many unknowns during the course of 3 hours, 4 hours, even 5 hours but you have to think STRONG!
weather: wind, rain, heat, high humidity;
the course: hill climbs, uneven surfaces like rocks and loose gravel;
time expectation: I don’t dwell on this, but a lot of runners do (I feel like running is already hard, why beat yourself up?)
When things are beyond your control on race day, take a deep breath and just accept the conditions you are dealt with. There’s nothing much you can do but to move forward. I like to take the relaxed approach-and I know eventually I’ll get to the finish line. Panic never helps. Stay positive and relaxed!
Be in control. Feeling helpless only reinforces […]
So you’ve made it to The SF Marathon blog page — a hearty congratulations to you! You must already know that running is a wonderful, magical, superhuman barrel of fun, right? You plan your weekends around going to bed early and racing the sunrise to the highest points within 20 miles of your house, right? At a moments notice, you can name your exact personal best time in every distance from a 5k to a 50-miler, right? Okay, okay, maybe you’ve only been running one time ever. Maybe your brother / sister / significant other / best friend / boss / mother-in-law is a runner and you’re pining to know the secrets of their emphatical joy. Well, you’re in luck; whether you’re an elite runner or a curious novice, this post is for you. I give to you: 7 Wonderful & Little-Known Benefits of Running.
1. Running Improves Joint Cartilage — For ALL Ages
Wait, isn’t running bad for “older” people? HA! The wives’ tale that running damages the knee / ankle / hip joints is about as accurate as saying that a woman’s body can’t handle running a marathon. And just as Katherine Switzer showed us in the 1967 Boston Marathon, sometimes conventional “knowledge” is far from true. According to a 2013 study of osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk, “long-distance running does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis of the knees and hips for healthy people,” and “might even have a protective effect against joint degeneration.” Whoa! The New York Times also covered this phenomenal phenomenon here.
2. Leaner Bodies Like To Workout
You’re telling me that working out makes me want to work out? Mentally, by and large, yes. In a study published in The International […]
It’s just running … Yes, I said it! It’s just running. This coming from someone who is nearing 500 days of a running streak, someone who runs 34 miles on a Monday morning just because, a person who wakes up to get out and run the track, someone who drives for hours just to run with friends that are often times longer than the time actually running. At the end of the day it’s just running, a motor skill that shouldn’t be taken fore granted, an enjoyable sport, and a fantastic way to stay fit and enjoy the great outdoors, but it’s just running.
Running is not who I am, it doesn’t define me (or hope it doesn’t). Running is what I do. It does teach us lessons about who we are and those around us, but still it’s just running. I see too many people feel the “pressure” on race day, the nerves building up, the overly serious looks and attitudes for that matter. Chill out people it’s just running!
Remember it’s something we do! Not who we are! Things we do should be beautiful enjoyable, non-stressful. This isn’t a job for 99% of the people who do it. I mean if you are a pro and it is what puts food on the table and keeps a roof over your families head, I get it I understand results can determine your income (prize money) and your sponsorship deals, etc. However, for the rest of the runners, we pay to run, we commit our time to training, and have supportive family members (spouse and children) that allow us to do this. With that being sad, why make it stressful for them too.
People ask me how […]