On February 17, I’ll be running the Pasadena Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon as the token brunette on a team that includes four smoking hot blondes. This past Sunday we ran 12 miles, including a steep incline up San Vincente to Sunset Boulevard. I can still feel it! I’ve never run this course before, and it’s supposed to be gorgeous—starts at the Rose Bowl and winds through town to the California Institute of Technology campus and back. Any time I’ve run a race, I always hear my first running coach, Curtis, saying “finish strong, finish pretty!” Which basically means smile when you cross the finish line, even if you threw up at mile 9 of the LA Marathon in 90-degree heat, fractured a toe somewhere around mile 20 (see below) and were near tears as you limped your way through miles 22-26.2 for an overall a pace that was almost an hour longer than your training runs. Smile!
But see? Here I am smiling for real this time at Dan Tana’s post-marathon, below, enjoying a Makers Mark Manhattan and a nicely charred New York steak.
That which does not kill us, only makes us stronger and makes that finish-line cocktail taste like it arrived on a beam of light. And honestly, all joking aside, running the 2007 LA Marathon remains one of the most incredible experiences of my life. And I still love to run (maybe not 26.2 miles) so on February 17 for our 13.1, I’m focusing on the “pretty” part of the picture.
1. Hydrate! Fuel Belt makes the best two-bottle belts of the bunch, and I love all the new color combos like this one in Hawaiian Punch:
2. Fuel! The aforementioned fuel belt also includes a nifty neoprene pouch for holding your mobile phone and fuel for endurance during longer runs. I’ve tried them all—chews, goos, energy bars, jelly beans, you name it—and hands down my favorite are the Clif Bar Shot Bloks in Black Cherry. Each serving has 50mg of caffeine, the equivalent to a small cup of coffee. Run like the wind!
3. Go the distance. I love my Lululemon running skirts and Nike Tempo shorts for shorter runs, but when we’re talking about longer distances it’s all about running tights. Trust me when I say not all running tights are created equal. Low-rise leggings, while perhaps sassy at the gym, are not your friend on a long run. My favorite two designs for comfort are Adidas by Stella McCartney and GapFit. The Stella McCartneys are spendy at $110 a pair, but they’re truly the best of the best. I like that they are “natural rise” and the tech fabric she uses doesn’t get any better:
I also love GapFit gFast Climate Leggings, which are even a little higher rise than the Stellas. And at $55, what’s not to like?
4. Chocolate Milk. It does a body good. Really. Recent studies show it’s better than most sports drink for muscle recovery.
5. Put on a happy face. How best to do that? Run with friends, the kind who secretly drive through Hollywood on the Saturday night before your long run, attaching inspirational personalized posters to lamp posts to surprise the team and keep them motivated climbing that brutally steep hill to Sunset Blvd…you know who you are!