Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long Beach Interview 11-29-2011

Long Beach Interview

Host/Writer Bianca Blanco Executive Producer/Writer/Editor: Stephen Metz Producer/Marketing: Jorge Rivera

Sunday, November 27, 2011

In the "Spotlight" with Jennifer from California

Meet the amazingly fabulous Jennifer from Northern California!
Rounding the corner I see the cones and know I’m close. Down the small embankment to hit the pavement of the parking lot. There it is the finish line. No crowds, no cheers most of the finish broken down. One foot in front of the other I crossed. 6 hours and 28 min I did it. Years ago this would have never been a thought let alone a reality. At age 19 I had back surgery. Changed my life forever or so I thought. Cautious is how I lived my life. 2008 became the year to start the change. I quit smoking after 20 years. 2009 I dug up the courage to join a gym. It was a small gym in the strip mall by my office. Unfamiliar territory that was scary and exciting at the same time. Big frumpy clothing feeling like everyone was watching me. When I started I could hardly walk on a treadmill. I was so out of shape. At that time I had no other goal then to get healthy. I was shedding the pounds quickly. My confidence was building and the energy was galore. A friend got me a complimentary membership to 24 hour fitness so that I could workout with her. I was more then ready to make the move. Sadly life evolved and she moved away.
This new world I had stepped into eventually embraced me. I was meeting new people and trying everything in the gym. No more frumpy clothes and looking around to see who was watching me. I felt great. In January 2010 I wanted a new challenge. I couldn’t hardly run for 2 minutes but there was an draw to running. So much time on the treadmill watching people just run and run. That is when it came to me. I would do a half marathon. Most people thought I was crazy. Research was needed since I had no idea what I needed to do. Found a flat course and signed up. For months I gradually built up to be able to run/walk for hours. Last minute I signed up for a local 5k. It was another new world to me. Starting horn went off and there was a huge surge forward. This was not an easy course with a couple of very steep hills and trail running. Both of which I was not prepared for. My friend told me it is ok to walk, just take your time. So I did just that. Before I knew it I was headed up this dirt path where there where many people looking down. The voices where coming from left and right. “Your almost there” and “The shoot is right here”. Hit the top of the hill and banked to the left. There it is the finish line. As I crossed they announced my name. I loved it! Soon followed up with a 10k. September 5, 2010 came quickly, Disneyland , 13.1 miles, my big day. My only goal was to finish. Which I did in 3 hours 4 minutes.
The feeling of pride was explosive. The medal didn’t hurt either. I did small races for the rest of the year and loved everyone of them. 2011 Set two goals of a half marathon in February at Disneyworld and another in September at is Disneyland.
July 2, 2011 my life changed. I was up early and out the door for my training run. After my run I hit the shower. As I was washing my hair I noticed that there was huge clumps of hair in my hands. It just kept coming out more and more. Within 3 weeks I had lost all my hair. Doctor after doctor I was not getting any answers. Hormone levels, vitamin levels, and organ issues. Still no one can tell me why I lost my hair or what was going on with me. It is hard to explain how most days feels like my body is just shutting down. I just wasn’t going to give up. I signed up for another half marathon on 10/2/2011. Ultimate challenge of a full marathon is what I needed. Signed up for the Malibu marathon. Only goal was to finish. Tore up my feet pretty bad that day but I finished which was all that mattered. Since then I keep thinking about the next run. Safe to say I am addicted to running. Even possibly that I am running for my life.    

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In the "Spotlight" with Steve

Meet the strong, confident, and amazing Steve from California!

My first steps in running a marathon began when a friend of mine asked if I wanted to run a marathon in the year 2008 and raise money for Aids Project Los Angeles (APLA) . At first, I was a little hesitant, but quickly realized this was a good motivation to lose weight and raise money for a good cause. It was also a commitment of 6 months, and at this time I was going through a divorce, so this couldn't have come at a better time, Something to keep my mind off my personal life and use my energy to help others.
The experience I encountered with the APLA group was amazing, They truly supported me through the start of training to crossing the finishing line.(2008 San Francisco marathon) To this date, they are still friends of mine and frequently communicate with them.
Thus, my passion for running marathons began, soon after my first marathon, I joined the Jeff Galloway group in Santa Monica, CA. There  I learned even more about running long distance and my coaches were Larry and Patty Goldman (program directors) who were instrumental in pursing my passion to run more marathons. The Galloway method is a run walk method of running a marathon. In 2009 I ran 12 marathons, the first six I ran run walking, but after the 7th marathon I had ran my first one without run walking. The feeling was amazing, never in my wildest dreams that I could ever imagine running 26.2 miles without stopping, the following 5 marathons I ran straight through and couldn't believe it, the feeling was forever life changing. During the latter part of the year 2009 I started to feel like 26.2 wasn't enough once a month. I had heard from one of the my other group members about a club called Marathon Maniacs, and they briefly described how insane they were for running 30 to 40 marathons a year. I thought to myself, there is no way that I would ever be able to run that many marathons but it would be interesting to know one of them to find out what drives a person to run so many marathons. I'm seriously bad with dates but I took the opportunity to meet a Marathon Maniac during the 2009 Las Vegas rock n' roll marathon, it was 28 degrees and freezing and this guy had a smile on his face like he couldn't wait to start. I thought to myself there is no way I am in the same league as these crazy people. ( the guys name was James Hong) When I asked James about how many marathons he was planning to finish for the year he said that he would finish 28.(I thought to myself what planet was he from) So I asked him how he did it, and he just simply said that he just showed up to a race the following day(double) and would run another one and his body would adapt. I thought to myself, that's it, just keep running and let the body take over.
So following the race I couldn't wait to tell my running group that I met one of those maniacs, and that I was convinced that I would never be one, because running that many marathons was insane and frankly not possible in my DNA.(at least that was what I thought) I told the group if they new of any back to back marathons that I could do, and one of the other runners (Becky Wagner) told me about a Charlie Alewine Racing races that were affordable and that were doubles and triples. So for the year 2010 I decided never to be a Marathon Maniac because that was absolutely insane but I wanted to see how many marathons I could run in a year. I figured, if I could do 20 that would be a miracle in itself. So I immediately contacted Charlie Alewine and discussed a new years triple he was having and asked if there was any room left because the website stated that it was sold out. He continued to tell me that it was, I kinda begged him to let me enter the triple and that I would pay in advance and really wanted to start the year off trying to do three marathons in a row.( at this point, I had no idea that I even could finish all three, just believed in me).
So on the first day of the triple I ran across, guess who? yup happy James Hong. I finished the triple to my amazement and pursued my goal of 20 marathons. To my surprise I finished 61 marathons, and completed over 70 races in the year 2010. It was one of the most amazing years of my life
surrounded by so many positive and amazing people that made me feel so limitless like anything is really possible. One of those amazing runners I ran with is Troy Lavosky who I had incredible conversations with and off the chart running ventures.
Today, Charlie Alewine is one of my best friends and supporters. He has encouraged me to continue my passion and made me believe that I could finish a hundred mile race. This year 2011 in November after my 9th attempt, I finally completed my first hundred miler (EC100)  Corona to Santa Monica Pier. That really doesn't even sound real, but it is true, if you surround yourself around positive incredible people, positive incredible things can happen, I truly believe that, you have to believe in yourself and your journey is yours and no one else's. You never know what your capable until you go out there and attempt it, I did and found that anything is possible. MANIAC #2597 God bless!


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Malibu Marathon - November 13, 2011

We are Fabulous!  Not only are we fabulous but we are amazing too!  We did a double marathon this weekend. Catalina Eco marathon on Saturday and Malibu marathon on Sunday. This is Helen's (in middle) first double marathon.  Cat has done many marathons including ultra marathons and 100 milers. Congrats Helen you did it! I finished 6:03:51
All of us did a double including celebrity Maniac #22 Deo!  I met some amazing people today.  This is Jennifer's first marathon and she has an amazing story stay tuned.  Congrats Jennifer!
I enjoyed talking with Lori and Nina and what I found out about these two ladies is that Nina is celebrating her 50th birthday and told Lori we are running a marathon for my 50th birthday next week.  They did what I call "suicide"!  Congrats ladies and happy 50th Nina!

I love this race and it's Malibu's 3rd year and mine too!  It's a must do for your bucket list...
Congrats Violeta on your first double!  You are amazing!

Malibu marathon gives a finisher's beach towel and a nice medal.

Believe in what makes you feel good.  Believe in what makes you happy. Believe in the dreams you've always wanted to come true, and give them every chance to.
-Dena Dilaconi-

Catalina Eco Marathn - 300 Lifetime Marathon

My 300 lifetime marathon!  What better place to celebrate a milestone than beautiful Catalina Island.  This was my 3rd year doing Catalina Eco and the last two years it was hot and I got heat exhaustion and barely made the ferry ride back. This year I welcomed the overcast cloudy about to rain any moment weather but blessed that it didn't rain until we were in line to board the ferry. The course got re-routed at the last minute because it rained all night and some of the trail got washed out. We still had beautiful rugged trails with views of the Pacific Ocean. I finished my 300 marathon in 6:08:05!  How many more?  I hope to do 1000 marathons in my lifetime.  Seriously!
1st place winner Sarah Lewis from Seattle finished in 3:35:47.  She's young, beautiful, and amazingly fast!  Way to go Sarah! 
299 and a half marathons...Almost there...I love marathoning and over the pass 12 years I have done marathons in all types of weather.  I've DNF (Did Not Finish) three times in my marathon career.  Each DNF was a lesson which lead to getting to know my body and who I am as an athlete.  My race-ume (resume) is very impressive and I'm extremely proud of it because I'm a power walker.  I have done some of the toughest and most brutal races and I have done some of the most beautiful races in the country and Catalina Eco is one of them. I like being surrounded by nature and it's serenity.
Finishing up 300 lifetime marathons!!!  Never give up on your dreams!

My favorite announcer Rudy Novotny made me feel as if I was the winner. Facebook Rudy with your special marathon milestone.  Rudy is also a big fan of first timers.  Thank you Rudy!


Let your life be an exploration.  Let people and places be a part of your life, and experience each and every unique situation with a sense of wonder and delight.  Look in all directions to seek out the answers you long to know, and discover the secrets that keep questioning your heart.  Be willing to make the changes and be ready to face the challenges.  Accept the opportunities that present themselves, and endure and cope with difficulties that can arise from time to time.  Remember that there is no one way to live your life, but a thousand different ways for each of us to be.  Make your life the way you want it to be and create a lifestyle that brings you happiness.  Search for your true meaning in life by devoting yourself to your ideals, and enjoy your wonderful adventure through time by making every day special.
-Deanna Beisser-

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Power Walker Power

                          WHAT’S YOUR MOTIVATION
People always ask me what motivated me to power walk 106 marathons in 2010.  My answer is the finisher’s medal.  I’ve been collecting medals for over 12 years and I display each one with pride.  Each one is unique and has a story of its own. 
One of my favorite medals is the Mississippi Blues medal. 

My next answer is I love power walking and it’s a low impact workout which is easy on the joints and the body.  Walking daily leads to a healthier and happier lifestyle.  20 minutes daily can lower your blood pressure and help fight obesity and not to mention that it’s free and easy to do. Just put your shoes on and walk out the door.  Yes! It’s that easy.
God grant me the Serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
Courage to change the
things I can and Wisdom
to know the difference.

In the "Spotlight" with Alva from California

Meet the amazing and fun Alva from California!
I grew up in Los Angeles and thought runners were super heroes. I’d watch them run up and down San Vincente and Ocean when I biked to and from the beach as a kid. I wanted to become a runner, but couldn’t find any running shoes that didn’t hurt my feet even at specialty running stores. So instead, I swam, played tennis, and basketball, but dreamed of running.

Fast forward to 2003 and I found a pair of pain free running shoes! I finally became a super hero running up and down San Vincente and Ocean. I ran with LA Roadrunners. I made lifelong friends and became part of this amazing running community. I felt like I attended the University of Running for 3 years with Coach Pat Connelly and the paceleaders until I moved away.

I love the discipline of training. Training is year round and race day is an occasional holiday. Training is free. Race miles are not. I’ve always lived below my means, so training works best for me. My paceleader used to tell us ”Do your weekly runs or else you won’t be able to keep up on our long group runs. We don’t stop and wait.” These are words I live by. I train to lessen any pain on race day. I know anything can happen on race day, so I like to be prepared and have all my gears and kinks ironed out.

I compete against myself so as odd as it sounds, I prefer to PR on training runs over races. Race day is the big party where I get to run with my friends and meet new friends. I always think training is the CAKE, Race day is the frosting, and the Medal is the big bowl of ice cream on the side. :):)

I always had my eye on LA Marathon as my 1st marathon. When I crossed the finish line in 94-degree heat in 2004, I went with my Mom straight to my Dad’s hospital room to show him my medal. He told me, “If you can run a marathon, you can do anything.” He passed away a month later. I know he is with me at all of my runs.

My foot problems haven’t vanished though I feel like I’ve tried it all. I’ve worked on my form, visited podiatrists, sports doctors, tested custom orthotics, and researched. They can’t figure out what’s wrong. I had to stop running for 9 months in 2009 due to foot pain. I always know that within a certain amount of time, the life of the shoe I’m running in will expire due to pain. Some would say this is a sign to quit. I’m not myself when I don’t run. This is just my constant speed bump. And I always get to keep up with the latest shoes. I’ve tried barefoot running and this hurts my left foot even more. So the search for the magic shoes continues.

I love trail running and trail races. I feel at peace running in the mountains on soft trail. Though I often get lost, it doesn’t deter me from continuing and running for the finish line.

12/24 loop Ultras are also my favorite. Crissy Field is my choice 1 mile course since it includes views of Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the SF skyline, Palace of Fine Arts, and the Presidio. I never tire of this loop. There’s something to repetition. I get to know every step of the course so well that I can run at night with my eyes closed.

I’m often asked by non-runners why I run and specifically why I run Ultras. Because life is about testing what you’re made of, your belief in yourself, and it’s about coming out the other end stronger for it. If you never challenge yourself, then you’ll never know what you are capable of. During Ultras, I find comfort in the discomfort. I like that sweet spot where your body wants to shut down, but your mind is still in the game. I play mind tricks to keep going. I find this space to be almost otherworldly and that’s why I like to be challenged on hard courses. It’s all mind over matter.

I’m never going to win anything for speed, but I can keep going till the clock stops, which is why I’ve found my home in Ultras.

Since I’m not a fan of speed work, I’ll qualify for Boston when I’m 80 years old. I can’t wait! I look forward to the day when I can cross a Marathon or Ultra finish line, look back at my decades of running and hear, “Here comes the oldest woman on the course!” Run happy. Run safe. Run forever!!