Fueling for Optimal Performance

I’m excited to announce that I am a now an Ignite Naturals Ambassador and Athlete.  Why Team Ignite?  It comes down to my desire to fuel for optimal performance, and to do it with healthy, natural ingredients!

One principal that I have adopted in my training philosophy is that to achieve premium performance the body requires premium fuel!  Now, there has been a lot of studies done about fueling and nutrition for marathon training, and while I am not a scientist, nutritionist, or dietitian, I think most will agree that what a person / athlete puts in their body has an affect on their training, performance, etc.  My personal experience using the Nutribullet showed me what I was capable of when properly fueled.  More quality training miles led to fitness gains, those fitness gains led to better performance.  My experience training with Team Nutribullet helped me to achieve one of my major goals as a runner, one that was always elusive and seemingly unattainable for me, qualifying for The Boston Marathon!

There is something about reaching a difficult goal that helps to build confidence.  After the LA Marathon I decided to try for a new 5k PR, and in the process try for another goal that has been elusive to me, running a sub 18.  Though I finished shy of my ‘A’ Goal (18:07), I came close enough that I shattered any notion that I cannot achieve a goal that I have in my mind.  I believe I can, and will go further!  While I have come closer than ever to performing to my full potential, I don’t think I’m anywhere close to hitting my limits.  In fact, one saying that I share with others, and truly believe is that the only limits we have, are the ones we put upon ourselves!

As a member of Team Ignite Naturals, I’m joining a group of founding endurance athletes, nutrition specialists and doctors who are obsessed with revolutionizing sports nutrition using real food ingredients.  Ignite Naturals products include everything from hydration products, pre-workout nutrition, energy gels, recovery products and so much more.  I can chalk up my recent successes to my training and key workouts.  In a given training week I run hills, track repeats and speed work, tempo runs, progressive paced and long slow distance runs.  Quality workouts takes energy, it also takes its toll on the body and this is where nutrition, hydration, fueling and recovery products come in.

For sure my daily Nutribullet blasts have played a huge part, but experiencing the benefits of proper nutrition has led me to make other changes in my diet as well, being more conscious about the things I put into my body and strategic about fueling.  I don’t want to neglect anything that will allow me to train my hardest, perform my best, and be ready to do it again the next day.  I also don’t want to put just anything in my body.  Honestly, I have been reluctant in the past to use supplements.  It seems that just as often as there’s a new magic supplement, there is a new harmful ingredient discovered.  I much rather use a product with Natural Ingredients!

From here on out, I will continue to push my limits, strive to set new PR’s and break down more barriers to redefine what’s possible for me!

 

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2014 LA Marathon Race Report

An epic race weekend deserves an equally epic race report!  The 2014 LA Marathon will forever rank high among my favorite races I have run. Just an incredible experience from start to finish from the expo to the finish line!

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Expo Day:

Being a part of an Official fully organized and supported training program for the first time has been amazing.  It also created such a huge build up for this race, so much so that I nearly blew my training!  On the final taper week, I thought it a good idea to run an 8 mile fartlek workout (7 with my friend Marko) I reasoned that we’d take it easy, but no chance of that happening!  Competition being what it is, we hit some blazing fast speeds that day.  Thankfully that was on Monday and I still had some time to recover before Sunday.  But first, the Expo!

Sarah Kenton Expo

Nutribullet is both a premium LA Marathon partner and sponsors of the Health and Fitness expo.  Since I am a member of Team NutriBullet I was invited to take part of some festivities!  Since those festivities started at noon, I decided to volunteer at the Ventura Marathon booth to help race director Josh Spiker.  I ran the inaugural race in 2013 and had a great time so I would have no problem promoting it!

Eddie Ventura Booth Expo

I really enjoyed working at the expo booth and having some great conversations with people about running!  Not to mention I got a Ventura Marathon t-shirt and hoodie out of the deal!  Thanks Josh!  While I was working the booth and helping get runners signed up Meb Keflezghi was taking the stage as a featured speaker!  I just had to take the opportunity to listen to my favorite elite Marathoner share the secrets to his success!

Meb Keflezghi

After that boost of motivation I finished up my work with Josh and prepared for the NutriBullet Festivities!  Nadia Ruiz Gonzalez was a featured speaker to share her success of running over 100 marathons!  During the presentation we had some Nutribullet giveaways and motivated the crowd as they answered Marathon questions for prizes!  After all of the fun we took some group photos and I eventually made my way out.

Expo Photo1 Expo Photo2

So I thought I was done at the expo when I see the Asics Treadmill Challenge going on.  I figured I’d watch for a little bit.  “Oh”, I thought. “That guy is pretty fast.  Actually he kind of looks like Ryan Hall!”  Well that’s because it was Ryan Hall!

Ryan Hall Expo

Ryan, the fastest American Marathoner was holding a conversation on the treadmill at about 4:40 pace.  Answering questions and asking some back to the crowd!  I answered a few questions myself but took off before it got too late.  He had been on the treadmill for 15 minutes by the time I left and I later heard he stayed on for an hour!  At 4:40 pace!

I got home, found something to eat and started preparing for race day.  As this is my 7th Full Marathon my routine is pretty set.  I laid my clothes out, prepared my morning meals and tried to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Race Day Outfit

There was a lot threatening to go against me on race day, the weather, the early morning, the time change.  I didn’t let any of this get to me though, somehow I was just confident that everything would work out!

Race Day:

Race day morning (If I could even call it that) was crazy.  Crazy as in, why would you do that if you are about to run a race?  I woke up at 1:30 am, gave me 30 minutes to get ready before my friend Mike picked me up at 3 am.  Yes, you heard that right!  No my math it not off.  This was due to daylight savings time, and the clocks going forward.  Yay, exciting stuff!  For breakfast I had some oatmeal with chopped apple, and 2 whole grain pancakes which I carried with me in a container.  I also brought a pre-made Nutriblast!  I spaced out my eating, starting with the oatmeal.  Since our shuttle was at 4 am I ate the pancakes and left the container in Mikes car.  I brought the Nutriblast along on the bus to drink when we got to Dodger Stadium!   We arrived early and I took advantage of no lines for the porta Johns.  I also picked up a banana and a bottle of water for some extra nutrition before the run.  I met up with my fellow Team NutriBullet runners prior to our 5:45 am festivities.  The fun was about to start!

Pre Marathon Party!

Prior to the Marathon there was a DJ on stage, NutriBullet Dancers hyping up the crowd, glow sticks, thunder sticks and loud party music!  Wait, did I sign up for a Rock n’ Roll Marathon?  Nope this was the new LA Marathon and NutriBullet was getting the party started right!  Team NutriBullet was asked to get out in front of the stage and do the twist while a video played in the big screen of us doing the same after one of our long training runs!  A video collage of the Team Nutribullet training season was also played on stage, and I have to say it felt pretty good to be a part of this group for the LA Marathon.

All of this was both getting me hyped up for the race, but also calming my nerves about the race at the same time.  Usually during a Marathon you have time to sit around and get nervous, with all of the festivities, no such chance!  Before heading to the corrals I made one final stop at the porta john to make sure nothing was going to throw off the race!  I met up with my friends, Team NutriBullet Coach John, Luis, Marko in the B corral and had my first GU about 20 minutes before the gun went off.  Game time!

The Race:

My strategy for the LA Marathon was to start the race at an easy pace and run negative splits.  Original plan was first 3 at 7:30 pace, next 3 at 7:15 the bulk of the miles at 7 minute pace and then try to pick it up after the VA.  After receiving some solid advice from Crispin Lazarit I decided to study the course map a bit more and plan to run certain miles based more on effort with my pacing plan as more of a guide.

Miles 1-6: (7:36, 7:12, 7:10, 7:17, 7:38, 7:18)

Since I was planning to run the early miles easy I figured I’d have some fun with it!  I ran with John whose plan was to run with all of the Team NutriBullet runners at some point of the race.  I purposefully went easy in the first mile since I knew we were hitting a downhill that could cause us to go out too fast.  Dodger Stadium was rockin’ and I was the voice of reason keeping our small group in check.  First mile slower than planned!  Mission accomplished!  There’s so much to love about the early miles!  When I ran this in 2010 I didn’t run through Chinatown or Little Tokyo so the course change since then was great!  Then there’s familiar favorites like Disney Concert Hall and those amazing Drummers!  Echo Park also brought fond memories!  Through it all I was engaging the crowd and feeding from there energy, so by that logic… Run slow to conserve energy + extra energy from the crowd = energy surplus!

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Miles 7 – 12: (6:54, 6:56, 7:01, 6:48, 6:48, 6:49)

After mile 6 is when I started my focus on Marathon Pace.  John and I ran about another mile together and then parted ways, me to run my race, and him to support his trainees.  This is also where I really hit my stride and clocked some of my fastest miles of the race.  I just went with it and made sure my effort was on par with my pacing plan.  I really enjoyed Silver Lake as the mural on Sunset has always been a favorite of mine during previous training runs.  I also came across the groovy 70’s Funk Soul group which prompted some high 5’s!  I saw a pretty funny sign on this stretch of the course that read “Smile if you pee’d a little”  It was so unexpected that I couldn’t help but laugh!  I knew that I’d be entering Hollywood and with that i’d get a huge energy boost!  I ran into Michael Blackson around Hollywood and Vine entertaining the crowd and having fun!  I ran over and gave him a high 5!  I think that glitter glove sprinkled a bit of magic on me because I only got stronger from then on!

Miles 13 – 18: (7:13, 7:15, 6:44, 6:49, 7:02, 7:00)

After the turn on Orange I got back on Sunset Blvd and all I could think about was Nutribullooza!  I was very hyped up thinking about it!  I remembered from last time that West Hollywood had a lot of energy from the crowds so I was feeding off of that as well!  When I made it to Mile 15 I took my gel and had my eyes peeled for those NutriBullet Shirts!  I heard the crowd calling my name and looked back to see Nutribullet T-Shirts!  I looked ahead to see our Fitness Trainer Monique cheering me on!  I also saw Jeremy our camera/production guy and gave him a huge high 5 as well (are you seeing a theme yet?)!   The great thing about the LA Marathon is that there is never a dull moment!  Beverly Hills was a welcome sight as its always fun to run on Rodeo drive!

NutriBalooza

Miles 19 – 22: (6:50, 6:57, 7:06, 7:25)

Going into Century caught me completely off guard!  I had heard about “Cheer Alley” but didn’t expect what I ran into!  Cheerleaders from all sides, I felt like an NFL player running out to the field before the start of the Superbowl!  It was insane and granted me yet another energy boost!  At this point of the race I was still going strong and feeling great!  I knew that the VA was coming up but I also knew what to expect!  I was sticking by my plan to run the VA Hills by effort.  My pacing had been great so I knew that 1 or 2 slow miles weren’t going to break me in any way!  While entering the VA Grounds I saw Cynthia from LASP cheering on!  She spotted me and yelled out some encouragement which is just what I needed before the toughest part of the course.  Indeed, this was not easy but at least my legs had some life to them.  While running through the VA I kept in mind my cause (raising money for Veterans) and yelled some encouraging words to the crowds!  I grind-ed my way through it and got a little emotional when I saw San Vincente!  I was 4+ miles away from reaching my goal!

Miles 23 to the finish: (7:04, 7:07, 6:36, 6:56, 3:05)

The final 4 + miles (My final total was 26.45 miles) was all about focus and determination!  I put my game face on and the gloves literally came off!  I knew from 2010 that just because I was on San Vincente didn’t mean that it was going to get easier right away, or that I could start relaxing.  Nope!  My legs were feeling the toll of so many miles by this point, its to be expected!  I knew that if I just held things together I was going to be very happy at the finish line!  I clocked my fastest mile of the entire race at mile 25 (6:36) and once I hit ocean I was overcome with emotion!  I cruised in at 3:06:38 gun time (3:06:24 chip time!)  I ran a 6 minute PR and my first ever BQ!  Boston 2015 here I come!!!

Eddie San Vincente

Post race:

I got my medal and some water but the most welcome sight was an ice cold wet towel handed to me by one of the race volunteers!  It was heaven!  I walked way to much after the race, since my phone wasn’t working properly.  When I finally got a call from my wife I was ready to go and get some food!  Would have been great to meet up with Team Nutribullet post race, but my body simply wanted some food and rest!

Congratulations to all of the 2014 LA Marathon finishers!  Though I beat most of the heat, I heard about the hot conditions.  I hope everyone was safe during and after the race, you all have my highest respect!

Happy Running!

Eddie D

LAM Bib Medal

A moment of gratitude

As the LA Marathon approaches its impossible not to reflect on the journey that led me to this point!  I have been vocal about saying that this is the best season of Marathon training that I’ve ever have.  I have Team NutriBullet to thank for that, but before more than just thank the whole group (which I do), I also want to thank individuals!

Eddie Jasmine

Jasmine Diaz – My loving and encouraging wife.  I wouldn’t be able to take on this commitment to Team Nutribullet if it wasn’t for her understanding and support!  I know its not always easy for me to be out on Saturday Mornings when we may want to make other plans, but she understand my passion and goals and always has my back!

Thank you Jasmine for being the best wife a guy could ever have!

John LaPointe – It was John who reached out to me to be a pace group leader for Team NutriBullet.  I started running with John back in 2012 to train for the Malibu Half Marathon.  It was that group that allowed me to rediscover the joy of running.  This experience, however, has taken it to another level.  John served as the Running Coach for Team NutriBullet and has been responsible for instilling the principals of proper running form!

Thank you for everything John!  I’m glad to call you a friend!

Kenton – Kenton is a dynamic person, he’s the life force behind Team NutriBullet whether its up close and personal or behind the scenes! When you really find out all that Kenton does for NutriBullet, its amazing that he’s able to take care of all of the runners, but he’s always there for us!  Not only does he do it all with a smile on his face, but with an amazing energy that infects everyone!

Thank you Kenton for all that you do!

Sarah Lefkowitz – Sarah, Team NutriBullet’s registered dietitian, is not only helping to make sure that all of the runners are getting optimal nutrition for our demanding training schedule, she is training with Team NutriBullet as well!  I have had the pleasure of leading the 10 min/mile group for 2 weeks, picking her brain and soaking up her nutrition advice!  It is her NutriBullet recipes that have fueled me on my runs, allowing me to push past my “limits”

Sarah, thank you for keeping us fueled for success!

Monique – Monique is our trainer and responsible for making sure that our bodies are strong enough to both keep up with the toll of the Marathon training, but also perform at its very best!  She helps in a variety of fitness areas including strength training, core strength, endurance, injury prevention, and more.  Though I have not taken advantage of her weekly sessions I have really taken to the idea of core strength and have been planking almost daily.  All of the yoga sessions I have attended have been so dynamic that honestly I wish I attended more.  The real proof is in the pudding and for those that really need and seek her help, she has been heaven sent!

Thank you Monique for molding our team into lean mean running machines!

Jeremy – The guy behind the scenes handling the production and making sure we all look good!  Its all fun and games until you’re caught on camera acting a fool!

Thank you Jeremy for capturing the entire experience!

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My 8 Minute Pace Group Members – David, Luis, Laura, Freddy, Marko, and Peter.  Its easy to lead a group like this!  This group has changed a bit since training first started.  However, down the stretch we have had our core members to count on!  The conversations on our runs have been great!

  • David – you were the first motivated one to join the 8 minute group!  You were committed to run a BQ and I was committed to get you there!  You rep ARC hard but also represent Team Nutribullet well!  I wish you all the best and hope you achieve your goals!
  • Luis – I think I approached you about running with the 8 minute group and you were more than willing and motivated for the challenge!  You’re not only a strong runner, but a great RD as well!  You are definitely a more capable runner than you give yourself credit for!  I hope the LA Marathon is a confidence builder for you; I see you doing big things!
  • Laura – It was great having you with the 8 minute group!  You have such a strong running background with such elite company and you have been generous about sharing all of the things you’ve learned!  You’ve also come up with some great discussion topics during our runs to keep things fun and free.  I hope your injuries are behind you and kill it at the LA Marathon!
  • Freddy – The famous runner who has graced us with his presence and his big heart!  Your pictures are the stuff of legend!  It has been my pleasure to get to know you better as a runner and as a person!  Thanks for letting me carpool with you, and thanks for running with the 8 minute group even though some of the rest of us had a hard time staying on pace!
  • Marko – Thanks for bringing your energy to the 8 minute group!  You’re always up for a challenge and sometimes that meant leaving the rest of us in the dust when someone faster is up ahead (usually Peter).  Even still its great to see your enthusiasm for running and your confidence.  Its amazing that you’re so swift on your feet at 200+ pounds!  Hope that epic fartlek run doesn’t bite us on Sunday!
  • Peter – You’re the Team NutriBullet Veteran along with Freddy and a few others.  You are also an incredible runner and sup-athlete.  It was running laps around Hazeltine park with you that really boosted my confidence at the peak of our training!  Thanks for all of the advice and motivation.  I’d wish you luck, but you don’t need it!  Go kill it!

Crispin and Cynthia – I’ve been following all of your feats and accomplishments with LASP and it’s definitely been a motivator for me to step it up with my own running.  Having the both of you run with the 8 minute pace group, if only for one Saturday, was inspirational.  I wish you all much success with “The Speed Project” and thank you again for your motivation and support!

TNB Group Pic 2

To all of the Team NutriBullet Runners – You guys have been nothing short of an inspiration to me!  All of you with so many different stories, and goals.  You’ve over come so much to get to this point.  I’m proud of you all and want to see each of you cross that finish line proudly Sunday at the LA Marathon!  After the culmination of all our training, its time to execute on race day!

Happy Running!

-Eddie D

Team NutriBullet – The Final Stretch!

With three weeks left until the Asics LA Marathon, I’m literally in the final stretch of my training with Team NutriBullet!  If you missed my previous posts and am unfamiliar with Team NutriBullet, you can read about my training here and here!

TNB Group Pic 2

Team NutriBullet!

This Saturday morning was Team Nutribullet’s final long run before the LA Marathon.  We ran from Joes gym to Marina Del Rey and back one of our rare long runs that did not include a tribal run or loops around a park.  It served as a dress rehearsal of sorts for the LA Marathon.  We were all wearing our Team NutriBullet gear, we stayed in our groups and ran our paces.  I had the honor of “leading” the 8 minute pace group!  I say “leading” because at this point in our training we are pretty much a well oiled machine!  We stayed together and hit our target pace for most of the run, though some nagging pains forced a couple of runners to fall back a bit.

TNB 8 Min Pace Group2

All Smiles Halfway Through 20 Miles

I had the honor and pleasure of running with 2 sub-elite athletes and members of the Los Angeles Speed Project (LASP) Crispin Lazarit and Cynthia V Zarate, who were both original Team NutriBullet Members!  For our groups final 20 miler this was a great opportunity to pick their brains and get some great marathon advice from 2 runners who have both qualified for Boston many times.  For me, personally, it was a huge boost of motivation to run with them and I just felt the positive energy and good vibes!  As happy as we all were to run with them, they were both very gracious in joining our group and running those miles with us!

Eddie Luis Freddy David Josue Laura

This 20 miler was the culmination of a training program that started in December and will bring us all to the starting line of the LA Marathon as stronger, healthier runners!  As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts about Team NutriBullet, we have lots of expertise at our disposal, from dietitians and nutritionists, to strength and fitness trainers to running coaches.  All of this, to impart wisdom to all of our teams runners, to help us all to be more balanced as athletes.  In short, all of these areas are important, proper diet, strength and core training, and running form all make for a much more successful running experience when applied!

TNB 8 Min Pace Group

8 Min Group w/ Coach John LaPointe

When I was asked to be a member of Team NutriBullet, I was also asked to be a pace group leader, which was a great honor for me, and not an opportunity I took lightly!  I was asked to pace the 8 minute group, which was a bit nerve racking in the beginning since I didn’t know how many runners would actually be in my group!  For the first 2 group runs there really wasn’t a set established 8 minute group, but slowly the group came together!  Looking at what it is now, all of the runners are exactly where they need to be! Being able to keep a conversational at a specific pace is one tell tale sign that its the right pace for a long run!  As much fun as I’ve had pacing the 8 minute group throughout this training program I have been willing to do what has been asked of me!  Some weeks this meant running as a “tribe” during the first few miles of our long run!  This “tribal run” helped to unite the group and give runners in different pace groups, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to run together or strike up a conversation to do just that!

TNB Tribal Run

Tribal Run

I have also had the pleasure of leading the 10 minute pace group for 2 weeks due to necessity by the group.  I’ll be honest, in a small way I dreaded my first run with the 10 minute group because I thought it would be much too slow for me, but something happened, I settled in and enjoyed it!  Actually, I enjoyed it a whole lot!!  So much so, that when I was asked to pace the 10 minute group again the next week I was happy to take the task!  I have learned that every pace group brings their own energy!  Their own goals, and their own experiences!  When I went back to running with the 8 minute group it was bitter sweet!  I was thrilled to re-join my 8 minute group, but sad to leave the 10 minute runners as well!  I almost wished both groups would run at a happy medium pace, but that wasn’t realistic for anyone involved!

TNB 10 Min Pace Group

10 Min Pace Group

So what’s next?  It’s time to taper and rest up for the LA Marathon!  We still have a few group runs left before March 9th, but the core of our training is complete!  I am extremely proud of everyone who has trained with our group, and am hopeful that everyone will reach their goals!  Whether its a first marathon, a PR attempt or a BQ attempt I believe everyone is now in a better position to achieve what they are set out for!  For those runners dealing with nagging injuries, now is the time to heal up and get healthy for race day!  I am thrilled to share my LA Marathon experience with this group, and when I wear that Team NutriBullet logo on my chest and back I will be representing the entire group proudly!

There are so many great people in Team Nutribullet so in my next point I will try to share about some of these amazing individuals!

Happy Running!

~Eddie

Running for Veterans: Eddie Got Soles 2014 LA Marathon Fundraiser

As I’ve already shared, my next “Adventure” will be training for, and running the LA Marathon with Team NutriBullet.  While I will be receiving lots of support from Team NutriBullet, I will be sending my support to Brenai Foundation.  Every time I lace up my shoes for a training run, up until I lace them up for the LA Marathon and beyond, I will do so with the goal of Fundraising for Brenai Foundation.

Brenai Foundation is a charity with the goal and purpose of helping support Military Veterans.  They will accomplish this goal by providing education, aid, and resources to disabled and low income vets, help veterans and their families with transition assistance, aid and support for military families who are separated from their loved ones, and much more!

As a Marine Corps Veteran I know first hand the challenges many service men and women experience when they separate from the Military.  And so does Brenai Foundation founder and CEO Keaver Brenai, who created the charity after witnessing her own family members in the same struggle.

I have shared my experience, 8 1/2 years in the Marine Corps – this is where my running history started so its only fitting that I use my running ability to help support veterans.  Aside from my own service, I have many friends, family members – cousins, aunts and uncles, etc. who have also served.

“There is no reason a Veteran should become jobless or homeless due to lack of resources and knowledge.”, says Keaver Brenai, founder of Brenai Foundation.  She, and the rest of her organization is not just talking about it, they are out there working hard and doing something to create real change!  It is that level of dedication that makes it and easy decision for me to choose them as my charity of choice for the LA Marathon!

I ask, if you are able, please give what you can and donate to this wonderful charity! http://www.crowdrise.com/2014forveterans/fundraiser/Eddied80

To learn more about Brenai Foundation visit their website: http://Brenai.com

Thanks,

Eddie