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7 Wonderful and Little-Known Benefits of Running

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 […]

By |April 2nd, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

It’s Just Running

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 […]

By |March 31st, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

A Few Tips Before You Run Your First Big Race

Practice during your long rung, simulate the race as much as possible.

Wear the outfit you plan on racing in so you can see if it causes chafing. Don’t wear the race shirt you get at the Expo unless you know the fit and know it won’t bother you.

Try out your new shoes and socks, believe it or not, socks can make a HUGE difference!

Wear a hat, scarf, visor? give them a try! You need to know if it fits too loose or tight. Don’t buy anything new at the Expo and expect it perform the way you want it to.

Use a fuel belt or hydration pack?? Better use it on your long run to make sure you like it. The marathon is not a place to try out a new one, especially a fuel belt. It could rub and cause chafing or worse, blisters on your back.

If running a marathon or anything longer than an hour, YOU MUST FUEL every 45 minutes, I prefer Huma Chia Energy Gels. You need to know which ones work for you and which ones cause tummy trouble. Don’t forget to practice running and eating since you will not want to stop during your race. Chase your Gels with water too.

Don’t forget your keys! If you have to drive yourself to the race, are you going to run with your keys? Better practice running with them.

Sunscreen, chapstick, etc. Try out new products before the race to make sure you aren’t sensitive to them.

Make sure your Garmin is charged the night before a race, the last thing you want is a dead Garmin during your run.

Fuel with extra carbs 48 hours before the race. It isn’t necessary to carb load […]

By |March 26th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||0 Comments

Finding Myself Through Running

As I write my second installment for The SF Marathon blog, an article was published recently in The New York Times entitled Running as Therapy.   In summary, the author writes about how distance running helped her through some of the most difficult experiences. The article is something that I can totally relate to.

Besides struggling with obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression in my early twenties. I rarely disclose this because I fear that people will judge me.   Life is sometimes not fair. The depression was different than the blues.  I went through some rough periods where I felt that I could not lift my head to see the light.  I battled with self-doubt, self-loathing and low self-esteem. I wanted to be alone.  It hurt to be around my friends.   At my lowest point, I contemplated ending my life because my spirit was so broken.

I was prescribed antidepressant medications such as Wellbutrin and Luvox in addition to psychotherapy. Though the treatment helped manage my depression symptoms, I still felt a fog of sadness that I couldn’t get out of. I struggled to find happiness and purpose.   I had the support of family and friends but it wasn’t something that they could take away.  It was something I had to work out on my own.

On November 12, 2012, I signed up to run the first half of The 2013 San Francisco Marathon. It was the next item to check off on my list of goals on my weight loss journey.   I did not think it would change me. I had doubts that I could even complete the race since it is a challenging course.

It was […]

By |March 25th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||1 Comment

The Agony and the Ecstasy of The San Francisco Marathon

This July, I’ll be running The San Francisco Marathon for the third year in a row. The race was my first road marathon in 2012, and I’ve yet to pound the pavement for 26.2 miles in a different city […]
By |March 24th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||2 Comments

GAMBATE! For Mom!

We have a lot of amazing marathoners who are running The San Francisco Marathon for a cause. Check out the story below and find out how you can do good with your run.

 
Cara Heilmann, Orinda, CA
Running for: A Breath Away – Lung Cancer Research
My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004. In our home in Laguna Hills, CA, with tears in his eyes, my husband asked, “Do you want to move back home?” Within 45-days we packed up our house, bundled-up our two small boys, jumped on a plane to Hawaii, and started immediately looking for new jobs. I cared for my mom along side my sister and dad for over a year before she died. It was the saddest day of my life.

On January 7, 2013, I took my first step as a runner. After 45 years of a sedentary life, I decided to take control and become a (hopefully) lean (in a good way) mean running machine. Not knowing what I was doing, I found a group to lead the way. I trained with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and raised funds for blood cancer research. I finished 2:42 in the San Diego Rock & Roll Half Marathon. In 2013, I ran 3 more half marathons with a PR of 2:31–raising more than $4,100 for cancer research.

This year, I am running my first full marathon.

I am very excited that I chose the San Francisco Marathon as my first marathon. I spent hours researching different races. I wanted a beautiful course, well supported race, well orchestrated group, and tons of adoring fans. There are many races that fit this criteria. But, the clincher for me was the ability to run and fund […]

By |March 20th, 2014|Categories: Charity||1 Comment

The Art of Falling

Hitting the trails for a run can be a beautiful way to spend the morning. The dirt underneath your feet, the trees waving overhead as you pass by, the fresh smells of nature in the air. Trail running however isn’t always euphoric.

There comes a time in everyone’s trail & road running life where you are bound to hit the ground from tripping. You might fall hard. It will be frightening, and yes, there might even be blood. How do I know? Perhaps I have fallen just as many times as I have lost toenails if not more, and maybe, just maybe, I have more scars than I have scarves. And, that’s saying a lot!

You would think with all of the falling I have done, I would be an expert on the subject. But sadly, I still have yet to master the art of tumbling. I did manage to gain some insight on how to fall gracefully though.
• Rather than tensing up with the horror of “I’M FALLING” try relaxing the body, (easier said than done).
• Keep your elbows bent and use your hands as shock absorbers. The closer your arms are to the body, the better. Arms that are extended can cause serious injuries like broken wrists.
• If on smoother terrain, try to roll. – I have actually seen runners who fall, roll and are back in a standing position all within a blink of the eye. I only wish I could be this coordinated!
• Not able to roll, try to at least fall on your bum. While not ideal, the bum can endure far more than the head can.
Falling can be not only painful and emotional, but at times embarrassing. It is comforting […]

By |March 19th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Importance of the Long Run

The Long Run.  Every runner who has trained for a marathon has had that seem feeling of dread when they see numbers like 18 or 20 appear toward the end of the schedule.  We will do almost anything to make a long training run tolerable: group run with friends, find a race close to the required distance on the same weekend, darn near anything to avoid having to go run for HOURS by ourselves.  When no other out presents itself you may try rationalizing your way out of doing the long run; I’m here to explain why you need to do it if you want race day to go well and not dissolve into the dreaded death march.

There are multiple reasons why you need to do long runs as part of your marathon training which I will break down into 2 areas: physical and mental.  The physical part is the most obvious so we tackle that first.  On race day most of us will be on the course in excess of 4 hours.  That is a lot of pounding on your legs and there is no good substitute.  If your legs are not prepared for that kind of beating you will be a sad camper on marathon day. Equally important are the physical changes your body makes during training. When it comes down to it what your training is meant to do is force your body to adapt to running long miles. One of the most important adaptations to occur is you force your body to make more mitochondria, which are like little energy generators.  The more of them you have the more energy you will have during your race and those long runs […]

By |March 17th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

The Challenge of Pacing

Running. We humans have been doing it as long as we’ve been humans—always running from someone, something, running to save ourselves from becoming some predator’s next meal or, as is more often the case these days, running to prove it to ourselves that we can—and for the most part, it’s this simple thing. One foot in front of the other.

By |March 13th, 2014|Categories: Ambassadors||Comments Off

Charity Guest Blog: UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital

As part of our charity outreach we’ll be highlighting some of the official and select charities for The San Francisco Marathon with guest blogs. The UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital is one of the top children’s hospitals in the nation, and is recognized throughout the world as a leader in health care, known for innovation, technology and compassionate care. For more than a century, they’ve offered the highest quality medical treatment for children. This is the story of Kimmy Ramirez, and her struggles with cystic fibrosis.

By |March 11th, 2014|Categories: Charity||Comments Off