Thursday, February 17, 2011

Victory for Victims 5k/10k

It's that time of year to join TEAM NAZ for the Victory for Victims 5k/10k in Balboa Park. I ran the new 10K course that will be used this year, and it is lovely. Race is on April 10th - The official cool-down of the LA Marathon. I can't believe it's been a whole year since the last one. What are you waiting for? Sign up! And make sure to register as a team member for my team at .

This event supports the important work done at the Center for Assault and Treatment Services (CATS).

Monday, February 14, 2011

Firecracker 10K Race Recap

Photo taken by Legger extraordinare John Flynn!

This was my third year at the Firecracker 5k/10k in Chinatown. It is a hilly course - almost straight up for the first 3 miles. I like the hills - it's a challenge - and good training for both LA Marathon and Big Sur. My least favorite part of this course is actually all of the downhills - so I took them especially slowly.

Chinatown is a lot of fun - I have to plan on coming more often and practicing my Chinese. The views are also beautiful from atop the hill in Elysium Park from Angels Point. Another highlight is running through Dodger's Stadium. I cued "I Love L.A." in my head while I fantasized about running the LA Marathon in about a month. Last year this time when I ran the Firecracker 10K, I still expected to run LA, but I was still physically exhausted from the Pasadena Marathon the week prior. It was a big disappointment not running L.A. But today, I feel confident that I'll make it there - and I can't wait!

Happy running!

My Racing Story in LA Leggers Newsletter

So I wrote something for the LA Leggers newsletter this past week. Here it is!

In the past two years as a Legger, Nazbanoo has run 3 marathons, 4 half marathons, and is currently a mentor for the 12s. During this time she has shared her experience as a runner in her blog,

We all know running is an individual activity - but I only started taking it seriously when I appreciated it as a group sport. My first race is a 5K in December 2007 in support of the Jewish Home for the Aging in Reseda.

The participants are a small dedicated bunch, so small that I even place 3rd in my division. The course is simple, just a loop around the Home's facilities, but I cherish the feeling of community - something that is often lacking in our sprawling metropolis. So I sign up for my next race, and soon I get hooked. It gives me a chance to visit parts of Southern California that are new to me, or to which I never offer more than a passing glance from the comfort of my car.

It also gives me a chance to meet some really interesting strangers. At the Pasadena Marathon last year, I meet Lan. She is a running enthusiast (now marathon maniac) dim-sum lover who approached me in the parking lot. From our brief encounter walking from parked cars to port-a-potties, we form a running friendship that continues largely online - she is often one of the first people to give me any encouragement or advice.

Or Laura - a Bay Area local whom I meet around mile 8 of the Rock N' Roll San Jose Half-Marathon in 2009. During our 3 mile conversation, I learned a lot about her - how she recently had a baby, used to hate running, but how it helped her lose the baby weight. This is her first half-marathon. San Jose is an even friendlier race because of her.

My favorite stranger-turned-running-buddy is John - a 75-year-old member of the California Cruisers, an Orange County running group. He started running in his 50s, has completed 115 marathons, and is a 50-stater (his most memorable being the Delaware Marathon). He is on his way to Athens in the fall. I meet John at the Cinco de Mayo Half-Marathon in Irvine in May 2010, and we run together for a couple of miles. Technically, he is running with his wife at this race, but when I ask him where she is, he replies "I left her for a younger woman". Meeting John is one of the reasons I love races.

I also have had other buddies too - the kinds you don't actually meet, or even talk to, but whose energy pushes you through to the home stretch.

And my favorite running buddy? LA Leggers. People in my pace group may be surprised that I am not as chatty in real life as I am during a run - But the fact is, few things make me happier than Saturday mornings. This is especially true at events where Legger shirts flood the course - like at the recent 13.1 Marathon where we all cheered and rooted for each other. At events like these, no one is a stranger, everyone knows your name, and your name is "Legger".

Friday, February 4, 2011

24.5 miles and I need some new shoes…

So Saturday was our extra-long training run with an extra-groovy route through Brentwood, back to the beach, and along our usual route down Venice and Marina del Rey. There was a 5k/10k at Dockweiller Beach, so both Leggers and Roadrunners changed their route accordingly. Ever since the 13.1 Marathon race, my KSwiss shoes have been feeling worn out, but there was really no time to buy new kicks before Saturday. I expected a bit of pain here and there.

Legger mentors John and Rene ran the first 12 miles and then, sadly (because they're such great company), turned around and left me in charge. Rene will be running the full Surf City this weekend and John - the half. At this point, I was informed that I needed to take the group out a little further since we turned around early in Brentwood, but we ended up running an extra 0.5 miles. Let me tell you, when you run as much as 24 miles, you can really feel that extra 0.5! My knee was bothering me around mile 16 onward, but I persisted – the group started to get smaller and smaller, but a strong solid few kept a strong pace – stronger than me – and I finished a few steps behind. I’m happy to know that my main problem was knee pain – mental motivation was the same as always – and there was no other issues that hindered me otherwise.

After the run, I was completely wiped out and my appetite was on the fritz for a good 24 hours. I haven’t run or done anything at all this week -- and I feel OK about it. Need some time to mend.

I have decided that 22 is the MAX I will run from now on for a training run – I’ll probably do 16-18 in a couple weeks when our training calendar calls for 26. 26? Hmmm...I don't think so.

So as far as my KSWISS Konejo's go – like a new love affair, they were good for a short while – but the thrill is gone. Feel Fleet doesn’t even carry the brand anymore. I was told that the ASICS Kayano’s have come out with a 17 model – much better than the awful disappointing 16’s. New love affairs are novel and fun, but the trusty mainstays are here forever.

Happy running to those out there this weekend – I’ll see you next week!

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