I found this interesting post in the WSJ today and wondered how many of you actually run the marathon as fast as you can. Assuming everyone did run to the best of their ability, we would expect a smooth distribution of finishing times. However, data in a study conducted by UC Berkeley and USC shows that male finishers tend to cluster around the whole number mark. I want to hear your thoughts. DO YOU RUN YOUR BEST TIME or ARE YOU JUST LOOKING TO HIT A NUMBER?
more cowbell! Maybe that's just me. For the rest of you who are catching MARATHON FEVER, try out this challenge for size!
"For the ING New York City Marathon, ASICS is letting fans step into the shoes of an elite marathoner. We built a treadmill that only runs at the speeds of America's fastest marathoner, and we're driving it around New York to let people jump on and see how long they can keep up."
Many of you may be considering new challenges to put your physical fitness to the test. If you're interested in doing the Nike Women's Marathon San Francisco, here is a review of the 2013 race by a mystery guest blogger (guess who). Please note that logistics and details will vary from year to year so do check the latest information the year that you plan to run.
In an nutshell, the first half of the marathon course is a BEAUTIFUL (and I mean gorgeous!) scenic stretch that takes you along the Embarcadero, through hilly Presidio, Lincoln Park, and the ever lush Golden Gate Park. The second half is a bit lack luster in comparison in terms of both excitement, scenery, and race supporters. It's an out-and-back along the Great Highway to Lake Merced. If doing anything less than 26.2 miles is beneath you, then do the full marathon but the heart and soul of the race is really in the first 13.1. You get the same Tiffany necklace, a t-shirt, and 95% of the race supporter love!!
Are you wondering if this race is for you? In my opinion, it's not for serious, no frills runners. The race was undoubtedly planned to be high-energy fun and packed with amenities (and peddling Nike & partner product) rather than well-structured, competitive racing conditions. BUT I assume most of you run for fun, health, inspiration, (feel-y good qualities). If that is the case, this race is HIGHLY recommended (Especially, the half-marathon which gives you all the goods. The full is just an extra badge of honor.).
Here are all the reasons why I am looking forward to next year! The first half of the Nike Women's Marathon course is truly an adrenaline rush. Kudos to Nike for getting the below basics and luxuries right.
Some of you might be thinking, SF is too challenging for me… all those hills! EEK! It's really not that bad.
As Nike would want me to say, you are goddesses of victory and can totally conquer those hills!! There are a couple of inclines; one is similar to Harlem hill which turns a corner and BAM! you are hit with more hill of similar distance and incline (~2 miles of this hill?). If you've built a decent base (e.g. have a history of finishing Grete's Gallop or similar races without dying) and have a race strategy, the hill will be behind you in no time. Plus, there are so many people cheering at those tough junctures, your mind will wander to the burly man cheering in drag and shaking his pom poms. Remember, it's a marathon- not a sprint. The day before the race, Roy helped me figured out the points along the course where i should conserve energy and where I should kick the pace up a notch. Review the race course ahead of time. The plan served me well for the first half and then due to inexperience and lack of focus, I let Roy's advice go out the window (Sorry, babe. I'm a bad disciple. :( ). For the benefit of Roy's readers, I tracked the race using MapMyRun. You can reference it as a guide for your training. However, please be warned that the GPS tracking on my phone was a bit spotty in areas. Overall, the elevation gain and course is correct. You can easily find the trouble areas marked by jagged spikes.
The race will kick off in Downtown San Francisco at Union Square and head through the financial district past the famous TransAmerica building. It will then proceed along the San Francisco Bay past Fisherman’s Wharf, Aquatic Park, Ghirardelli Square, Fort Mason and Marina Green while revealing breathtaking views of Alcatraz and The Golden Gate Bridge. The course then weaves through the Presidio and Sea Cliff districts, out to the Great Highway, through Golden Gate Park and south around Lake Merced, finishing just north of the Great Highway along the Pacific Ocean. Credit: http://runinfinity.com/race/nike-womens-marathon
For those of you who are curious, a few race quibbles might be: Walking through a lavish product showcase packed with people to find the race number pick-up, starting amidst runners of mixed ability at the Start corrals, snaking through a crowded park to get out of the finish area.
Here is a detailed account of the race by one of the editors at FitSugar.http://www.fitsugar.com/Nike-Women-Half-Marathon-San-Francisco-Review-32288331
Kombucha seems to be gaining a mystical hold over some of my clients and FitCamp class participants. This type of beverage has been around for sometime but it has surged in popularity due to various (undefinitive, unproven) health claims. There are currently no double-bind studies that support any of the wild claims the tea brewers make. Bottomline: Kombucha is sugary, produces alcohol and can easily have unchecked bacteria and fungal growth (if not brewed with proper technique in sterile conditions). All of these reasons put Kombucha in Roy's bad doghouse.
Kombucha is a sugary, black tea fermented by a flat, pancake-like symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts called the "Kombucha mushroom." It can be purchased at health food stores or made at home with the starter "mushroom," the beverage is "reputed" to boost immunity, cleanse the body, and produce other beneficial effects, but there is very little scientific evidence of these available in current literature.
Although the brew is mostly benign (it usually tastes very acidic, and contains traces of alcohol from the fermentation process), the American Cancer Society has warned that certain Kombucha starter cultures may contain contaminants such as molds and fungi, some of which can cause illness.
There have been reported cases of severe toxic reactions to Kombucha tea. In a recent report published in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine by physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a 22-year-old male newly diagnosed with HIV became ill within twelve hours of consuming the tea. He was short of breath, his temperature spiked to 103.0 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 Celsius), and he subsequently became combative and confused, requiring sedation and intubation for airway control. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that kombucha tea consumed in typical quantities approximately 4 ounces daily might not cause adverse effects in healthy persons. However, those with preexisting health problems or those who drink excessive quantities of the tea should beware.
Usually, you will find health, fitness, and class updates on my blog. Today, I have made an exception! Almost all of my clients have a special fondness for this particular candy, as I have heard many wax poetically about their childhood memories. If this sounds like you, then indulge in small bag of Haribo Gummi Bears in memory of the man who made the gold bears wildly popular, Hans Riegel. Enjoy life!
http://nyti.ms/H2rzD6 NYTimes: Hans Riegel, Marketer of Gummi Bears, Dies at 90
If you want healthy breasts...
New studies conducted by scientists from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota show that being active can stave off certain types of breast cancer. One finding was that women who were the most active, sweating vigorously for up to 10 hours each week, realized an even greater benefit, with 25 percent less risk of developing breast cancer than those women who exercised the least.
http://nyti.ms/1fhxwuQ NYTimes: How Walking May Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Endless FitCamp Fall Promotion 2013!
Roy Alexander Fitness is offering a fall fitness promotion to help you stay in shape during the off-season!
Unlimited classes until the end of the year for $150! That equates to OVER 100 sessions. It starts the first day of your purchase and expires 12/31/2013 11:59 PM).
The holidays are coming so take advantage of this deal to maintain your strength and that athletic prowess you've worked so hard to achieve (or just burn off those holiday treats)! Purchase now on the Buy Sessions page or see Roy after class. This offer will only be available for a limited time so don't miss out!
*If you current hold a positive balance of FitCamp sessions and choose to take advantage of this offer, Roy will honor those classes in the month of January 2014 but all remaining sessions must be used by 1/31/2014.
Ragnar Cape Cod 2014?
Two weeks ago, I joined my fiance, a few of her friends, and some new ones to run 196.2 miles from Saratoga Springs to Lake Placid. I’m no stranger to endurance competitions (Ironman races, running relays, and other epically long races), but this time running was different. My goal wasn’t to smoke the competition or to rack up the most ‘kills’; it was simply to have fun. Despite the somewhat amusingly, dysfunctional drivers and navigators that chronically challenged our van to reach the exchange points before our runners, the lack of sleep, the pervasive smell of Bengay and other topical pain-relief ointments, the experience was AWESOMELY FUN (or maybe it was because of those things...).
Ragnar is an incredible team building experience that tests your mental and physical limits. Reminiscent of my former competitive self, I gave my all to each leg of the race (5.3, 4.1, 5.4 mi). While Ragnar was taxing as an individual (lack of sleep, shower, and van space), my most memorable moments were the incredible camaraderie with my teammates, the creativity and spirit of Ragnar teams, and the beauty of the landscape!
In any case, I am already looking forward to my next Ragnar adventure... Are any of you interested in joining a team to run Cape Cod? Team 2014: All or nothing, Nothing in between. Email me at email@example.com.