Movement Runners’ Turns 2

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Movement Runners turns 2!! To celebrate the two year anniversary of Movement Runners, we collaborated a run with United LA. Dozens of people from all parts of LA flooded the morning streets of Inglewood, CA. There was two groups to choose from, the 5 mile group or the 10 mile group. Rain didn’t stop people from lacing up their shoes and hitting the streets.

After the run, members congregated at Edward Vincent Jr Park to have their potluck. Though it was windy and freezing it was a great turn out. The menu consisted of a variety of different foods, ceviche, roasted chicken, beans, rice, tortillas, donuts, potato wedges, freshly cut fruits, chips and salsa, macaroni and cheese, etc and a wide selection of beverages to choose from.

I’m entirely grateful for the people I have met through running. There are so many things in life that divide us, that separate us and tear us apart, be it race, religion, creed, socioeconomic level, nationality or any variety of other factors. But running is something that we all share in common. Regardless of any of these divisive factors, we all run in the same way. It is a commonality we humans share in a world that emphasizes our differences. Running unites us and brings us together because, in the words of the great Bill Rodgers, “We sweat the same. We struggle the same.” Running is a simple, primitive act, and therein lays its power. For it is one of the few commonalities left between us as a human race.

Thanks to all the running groups that united this morning to celebrate our two year anniversary:

BlacklistLA

DTLA

United LA

Cruda Runners

Run the City

Night Terrors

Valley Runners

Photo Creds: @onlyone_Hugo

Koreatown Run Club’s Friendsgiving Recap

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Friendsgiving has come and gone this year. I hope everyone that came enjoyed themselves as much as I did. The night was full of fun, laughter, friendship, and some amazing food! If you missed out, no worries! For now, you can read this post and live vicariously through it. 🙂

I’m fairly new to Koreatown Run Club and was surprised I was invited as a plus one to their Friendsgiving event on Friday November 25th in Koreatown. We started the evening from selecting from a wide assortment of beer and wines.

After some mixing and mingling it was time to eat. Members brought their own dish to the potluck. The menu was a twist on a Thanksgiving meal with turkey, veggies, mashed potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, rice, and some amazing desserts. I don’t think anyone left hungry.

It was so fun to look around and see so many enjoying a meal together. No one left without a new friend- I’m sure of it! It’s amazing when you can bring together people from different backgrounds and walks of life together in a room and watch people genuinely enjoying each other’s company. We’re all in this thing called life together and it shows!

After dinner, the most interesting thing occurred. One of the members from KRC brought out his tattoo equipment, what better way to bring people together then by tattooing. Of course I was not one of the few who got tattooed, but three people did and it was quite amazing.

The night concluded at Seoul Sausage in little Tokyo. Thank you so much Koreatown Run Club for opening your doors during the holiday season to new members such as myself.

Photo Creds: @OnlyOne_Hugo

Turkey Trot LA

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What better than to wake up, run a 10k, then stuff your face on Thanksgiving?! That’s exactly what I did for my first Turkey Trot!!

Woke up at 3am to go volunteer at the event. Was not sure what to expect. The race had both its pros and cons.

Pros: easy to register, packet pick up the weekend prior and they allowed people to pick up your packet for you! They also sent plenty of emails before race day with great detail. Option of doing 5k, 10k or both! Cute photo ops and lines weren’t too long for them. Spectacular views of downtown Los Angeles. I really like that they gave out trucker hats. Everything overall seemed to go pretty smoothly for what seemed like a crowded event.

Cons: a lot of hills, so that was challenging. Parking was ridiculous; parking attendant over at First and Olive was not aware of the event and there was only one person collecting money. They started the 5k runners before the 10k runners. So when I finished the race there was no more fruit. The race started 10 minutes later.

Overall, I would definitely recommend Turkey Trot LA to anyone. I had a blast. During the race my right foot was hurting however I pushed through and managed to PR!!!! 10k in 55:38

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Engaging With the Running Community

As a new runner, it’s easy to feel alone. You’ve made big changes in your life, these changes can include finding running routes and finding the times to run that suits your work/ school schedule. For some people this might mean purchasing a gym membership and figuring out if you’re an indoor or outdoor type of person. Whichever path you choose, it’s going to be filled with new challenges. But don’t worry, you are not alone!

Every day, there are countless people in your town waking up early to get in that morning workout, running during their lunch break or people going straight after work to get some miles in.

Point is: As a new runner, you are not alone. You’ve taken a huge step by lacing up those shoes and started running. Now it’s time for you to start doing some social outreach to ensure that running becomes more than just what you do—it becomes part of who you are. Joining a variety of running groups around the greater Los Angeles area has had a huge impact on me. Every runner I have met has helped me a great deal, whether it’s sharing advice; routes or race recommendations and many have helped pace me to make me a faster and stronger runner. Joining these groups have helped me get out of my comfort zone and explore different parts of Los Angeles I would’ve never explored by myself.

If you are from the LA area and would like to check out some group, I highly encourage it! All paces are welcomed. To name a few:

  • Movement Runners
  • Blacklist LA
  • Valley Runners
  • Night Terror Run Crew
  • Rundalay
  • Koreatown Run Club
  • UnitedLA
  • Team Cruda
  • Highland Park Runners
  • Nike Run Club

Virtual Race – Winterfell 5k

I’m fairly new to the concept of virtual running. I heard about it via Instagram. But what is Virtual Running?

A virtual race is a race that can be ran at any location. You can walk, use the treadmill, run outside or participate in another race. You can run your race at your pace wherever you like. There are no parking problems. No crowds. No long Porta Potty lines. There is no start gun or nervous, pre-race chitchat with other runners.

There’s not even an official starting line.

That’s the kind of flexibility offered by virtual races, a new trend in the running community. Runners who sign up for a virtual race register online and simply choose their own starting line, whether it’s a treadmill or a neighborhood street. They run the race distance, upload their finishing time and a few days later are mailed a medal. Pretty sweet huh? I registered for the ‘Winterfell 5k” For those who don’t know I’m pretty geeky and love Game of Thrones. So what better then running a 5k and getting an awesome Game of Thrones medal? I ran my 5k with my amazing running fam, ‘Movement Runners” It was an awesome experience because I was able to run around my community and earn a super sweet medal. My next virtual run will be the Jedi Challenge 2016, Proceeds go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Malibu Half Marathon

A week after completing the Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon I was fortunate enough to get a free race bib from Lululemon. I was a little nervous because I had just ran a half the previous week, however a group of people from Movement Runners had signed up as well. The morning of the race we took a shuttle filled with 12 people to Malibu. The ride there took about an hour so half the people napped while the others were in deep conversation about what to eat after the run. There were a few first timers and we gave them some advice on mind over matter when running. When we finally get there, the weather was freezing, so we tried our best to warm up and stretch. Then we were off, in my mind I thought the route was going to be flat, however I was wrong! Nothing but gradual inclines. It was tough, plus I had no signal and could not connect to Spodify. For the first 5 miles I was running in silence. Slowly my friends started to stay behind me, I felt that I was running alone for a while. But, I came to the run with the mentality that I would hit 2:30 so I didn’t want to slow down. After mile 12, everything was downhill, and from afar I could see the finishline. I had never been so happy, I kept my pace going and when I was a few 100 yards away I started sprinting. I wanted to finish off strong! It’s always the best feeling crossing that finishline and putting on that medal.  To my amazement I PR’d just a week after the Rock n’ Roll Half I shaved about 20 minutes; 2:22!!!!!

Hard Rock Cafe 5k

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Less than a week after the Rock N Roll Half Marathon I signed up for the Hard Rock Café 5K. It was all last minute planning with my fellow running friend Claudia. We were debating running the 5k or the 10k. However after a lot of texting back and forth we came to the conclusion that we would both be running the 5k since the next morning we had he Malibu Half Marathon.

The morning of the race Claudia and I were super excited and met with a few friends from Movement Runners and BlacklistLA. It was a quick 5k, managed to finish in 28 minutes flat, not my best time but I had fallen off the running wagon due to being ill.

MY friends and I crossed the finish line, received our beautifully decorated medals and soon were on our way to enjoy a celebration beer at 7am in the morning!

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Rock N Roll Half Marathon

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After finishing my first half marathon I told myself “NEVER AGAIN.” Well that was a lie. I signed up for another Half Marathon. This time I was super excited to participate, many of my friends including my 62 year old mom had registered to run! Several months prior to the run I started training. I wanted to work on speed and endurance, so I would practice running at the Culver City Stairs, I would religiously participate at Nike’s Speed Run on Tuesday nights. Everything was going gravy, my training was flawless. Then out of nowhere I got super sick. I started coughing and wheezing to the point where I couldn’t even walk across a room without gasping for air. I was so discouraged, for several weeks I was in and out of Urgent Care. Doctors kept switching medication on me and even took a few chest x-rays to make sure I did not have a collapse lung. My doctor told me I should lay off all physical activities because I could choke while running and pass out. I was so bummed out. I took several weeks off running a week prior to the big race I felt a little better so I decided to run 3 miles. My pace sucked and I was still coughing so I decided I was going to participate anyways, just run at a super sexy pace.

The big day had finally arrived and I had managed to whip up last minute costumes for my mom and I. We were going dressed as The Flash and Kid Flash.  Both my mom and I woke up at 4am, we got dressed and had a small breakfast. Then we were off in an Uber eager to meet up with our running friends. There were a lot of street closures near the LA Convention Center so our driver dropped us off a few blocks away from the finish line. There were so many people! I went to help my mom pick up her race bib and then checked in our bags. We greeted our friends then all began to stretch soon after we were all lined up ready to begin our run we said a quick prayer and we were off!!

There was so much energy from the crowds of people. Bands playing every couple of blocks it was amazing! I kept a sexy pace of 11 minutes for the first 10 miles and then we hit the rolling hills in Korea Town. I was not ready! I found myself walking/ jogging to the finish line. Once I caught a glimpse of the finish line I gave it my all. My legs felt like jello but I was smiling from ear to ear. My friends came rushing in as we all hugged each other.

I finished in 2 hours and 39 minutes. I was not happy with my time however it was way better than my first half marathon in which my time was 3 hours.

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Beach Blast Half Marathon

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Several months ago I participated in my first Half Marathon, “Beach Blast” Signing up was a breeze. “How hard was 13.1 miles?” Then it hit me, running a half was not as easy as it sounded. I had sent out a mass text to my running fam, “Movement Runners” to come out and support. 99% of them signed up for the 5k, I was the only one brave enough to run 13.1 miles. Running the first few miles was a breeze. However once I hit the nine mile mark, I remember thinking to myself “Maybe I should call an Uber” though the thought of calling an Uber was tempting I still pushed through. During my last two miles one of my friends who I met through BlacklistLA came on his bike and rode along my side. The sight of him was such a blessing and helped me get to that finish line. Plus I was trying to hurry since I knew my Running fam were waiting for me  with snacks, plus my mom kept texting me to hurry up because she was tired of waiting).
As I crossed the finish line I told myself NEVER again.

What Made Me Start Running?

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Why did I start running?  Let’s go back to my adolescent years: Growing up I would ask my parents to let me participate in sports, such as soccer, softball or even cheerleading. The answer was always NO. My parents could not afford to put me in sports, so I needed to find a hobby that was free, that did not require my parents to invest hundreds in uniforms and equipment. Thus I picked up running and I liked it!

Throughout high school I would go running around The Great Western Forum located in Inglewood, CA. This was way back before we had smart phones with running aps and music. Yes, I would run with a huge Cassette Player. I found running as my escape, it was the only time I could have me time and destress. I did not keep track of how many miles I put in or for how long I was running. Each day was different, one day I would run one lap around the Forum and I would give myself goals, two laps, three laps, four laps, five laps, six laps, etc.

Upon graduating college I moved to Santa Barbara where I attended UCSB. The first couple of months were rough, it was a complete culture shock. I was always use to living in a low income community with predominantly Hispanics and African American. I was homesick and found it hard to acclimate, so I picked up running again. I would run around Isla Vista and around the coast, I didn’t keep track of distance or speed. I ran because it made me happy. It wasn’t until one of my neighbors asked if I was training for a marathon. “What the heck was a marathon?” So I went back to my apartment and Googled marathons..26.2 Miles?!? “Why would people pay to run?” But I told myself one day I would get there, so I started tracking my miles once I got a smartphone. To my amazement I was running up to 18 miles! I was rather impressed.

After graduating from UCSB I had the brilliant idea to move across the country where I ended up in Herndon, Virginia. Why was I in Virginia? Because I wanted to try something new and not be stuck in Southern California.  Once again I found it hard to acclimate to a new environment, this time it was because of the weather. I wasn’t use to anything below 60 degrees. Surprise!!! Virginia gets to be below zero. I started researching 5ks and signed up for my first one, “Race to Rid Sids”. I started to train since I hadn’t run in months and didn’t know what to expect. Then Race Day came and it was freezing. It was 40 degrees so I was layered up while all the other runners were wearing t-shirts and thin pants. I was extremely nervous but once I finished I felt a great accomplishment. I didn’t know anyone so I just lingered around the food table. Then they started to give out awards and they called out my name. I was shocked so I went up and picked up a $200 gift certificate. Apparently when you run you get prizes if you’re first in your age group which I was, a 5K in 26 minutes. I was so excited!

Fast forward 2 years, I’m back in LA and through social media I found Blacklist LA; a running group that would meet up at night and run. Decided to join back in 2014 and felt extremely welcome and through them I discovered Movement Runners. It’s been now 2 years since I’ve been running with these groups and now I not only run to destress but also because of the wonderful people I have met. You meet people from all walks of life and it’s truly amazing.