The M’s of March.

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March can best be summed up with a bunch of M’s

{Marriage – don’t get all excited, it was not ours…yet}

{Motorcycle Rides}

{Mmmmm}

{Mentoring}

{Madness}

{Mishaps}

{Milestones}

and of course

{Marathon-ing}

Looking ahead to April, it’s going to be a mega-adventure.  Boston Marathon, San Luis Obispo Half Marathon, a big race for the Mr., New York, Blogger Brunches, Palm Springs (maybe), Girls Nights, Goodbye Parties, Birthdays, Basketball, and more. Stay tuned.

{MF Dre)

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The Dumbest Thing I’ve Ever Done. (and it wasn’t eat at Tar and Roses).

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Last night I am pretty sure I did the dumbest thing I’ve ever done.  Actually, I think I’m more really sure than pretty sure. And this was pre-cocktail and pre-GNO with super blonde haired {genius} friend.  WTH??

So I’ll start with the end of the night when I was walking to my car.  Here’s the conversation that ensued in my head.

  Hmm, that’s funny, did I leave my lights on?  Oh no, that’s just the car behind me reflecting on to my car.  

No, my lights are on.  Hmm. OK. But my lights are automatic and I know that I made sure of that after the valet the other day put them on manual. 

Triple Hmm, maybe the Mr. is playing a joke on me.  Where’s his Motorcycle? Is he sitting in my car waiting for me? That would be kind of funny and fun. 

Wait…is my car on? As in is my car running?  

yes.  yes. it is. 

So yes, I left my car running, in park and locked, for an hour and forty minutes while I had dinner down the street {at one.one.of.the.best.new.restaurants in Santa Monica}.  Reason #487 why the keyless push button start on a car is not easier. or smarter.   Did I mention I’ve locked the keys in the car while they rested in the cup holder? Or that I can never ever find them in the rare instance I need them since they’re now consistently useless and buried at the bottom of my purse?

So anyway.  As I mentioned, I had a fantabulous dinner at Tar and Roses last night with this girl who ran me to the finish last weekend.   As I’ve mentioned here and here, the Westside’s been desperate for some DT spots for a while now and they’re starting to pop up all around. Tar and Roses is no exception.  With its industrial atmosphere juxtaposed with a wood burning hearth, read leather seats and dry goods for sale its quaint, familiar and trendy all in one.

Highlights on the Menu included: Balsamic Glazed Ribs and Popped Corn with Crisp Bacon, Brown Sugar and Chili to start.

Roasted Chicken with Tomato & Corn Bread Salad and a Cioppino-style Shellfish Pot in a Red Curry Sauce

 I’m not sure we could have gone wrong on the menu.  The only thing I wish was that we’d each had two stomachs so we could have tried more.  Getting in here is not easy. They’re pretty much booked.solid as is the ever.so.annoying case here in the LA when something is new and different and you want to be a so-called-trendsetter.  But OpenTable has some avails and if you’re wiling to give it a small wait, I guarantee it won’t be the dumbest thing you’ve ever done either.

{MF Dre}

So what is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?  Spill it. 

* All images (except for the dumbness) courtesy of Tar and Roses.  
 

Watch out Insanity, TapouT and P90x.

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We all know every strong running {or fitness} program needs a bit of Cross Training.

P90x, Insanity, TapouT XT

Typically I like to Hike, hit the Elliptical or do Yoga, but when I came across this I wondered who on earth would  choose any of those programs when you can get an awesome ab workout laughing ski, cross-country and skate with Hans, Helga and Olga?

{yes please}

Since Friday this song has been stuck in my head and it will.not.go.away. seriously.  I’m hoping that by putting this out there I will rid my head of this madness.  That or it will become the Top 40 Hit and next DVD workout program to provide less than optimal results.

Go Figure.

{MF Dre}

Come on, admit it.  After watching this you tried it out…just to see if it might actually count as a workout.

Milestone Monday: Be the Inspiration

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Something mildly different this week for Milestone Monday. One of my goals this year was to stay inspired and push the limits in my life to continue to make my mark, and to make sure that my life is as broad, rich and full as it is hopefully long.

 As I have begun putting my talents and energy to use to Do More Good, I’ve had some really special people – friends and strangers alike – reach out, root me on and tell me what they’ve now been inspired to do.  Certainly I don’t take full credit for their inspiration revelation, but I do know that every once in a while some feeling, experience or emotion comes along and mobilizes you to ask yourself to embrace a bigger future – to take a courageous next step and to energize that vision or hope into action.

But sometimes you need just a little push – some sort of motivation to get you to commit – and it is that moment that you say YES that you realize your true potential.  Sort of like this…

{or something like that}

Really though, through very broken braz-english, my hang gliding instructor said to me, if you don’t run full force down this ramp, it you hesitate for one second as we approach the fall, we’re both toast.  So commit.  Or don’t come.

O-K.  Crap.  He raised me to the test. Spoke to me in a way that said, time to level up if you want to be a part of an adventure that some may consider greatness (others may consider insane).  Granted we’re talking hang gliding here, but I’m pretty sure I can safely say this falls into the category of pushing the limits and going a step beyond where you’re comfortable to inspire something new.  The same thing happened when I signed up to run Boston Marathon with Fred’s Team.  I had contemplated running for Charity in the past, but never really bit the bullet. Until I got introduced to Fred’s Team who just so happened to have ONE spot left on the Boston team.  It was too personal,  too important and too fleeting of an opportunity to not commit.  I.Was.Inspired.

After all of the leadership courses and books I’ve read and been exposed to over the years, one thing has consistently rung true,

You cannot inspire others unless you’re inspired yourself

And this silly little leadership course cliche proves itself true.  Just last week I received this email

Hi Mfdre –

You don’t know me but I admire your story. I’m KJ and I live in Baltimore. I am very interested in joining Fred’s Team for the NYC Marathon and I’m one step away from joining. I hate cancer. I want to fight and run for head and neck cancer and it’s a rare form that needs a lot of monetary support. Anyways, as you know, Fred’s Team has different levels of fundraising goals and a part of me wants to raise $6,000 for the fight against cancer then a small part of me is telling me that I can’t – it’s too much! I googled “Fred’s Team, fundraising, raised money” and found your AWESOME blog! You are amazing. And I’m in awe of how much you’ve raised for Fred’s Team Boston! I wanted to know if you have any advice or pointers for raising money. I don’t want to make this decision based on 100% passion and emotion and not meet my goal but I know it’s something that MUST be done! Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you can find the time in your schedule to respond.

-KJ

Of course we all know that KJ is already there.  She’s already got the inspiration bug to run the NY Marathon with Fred’s Team.  After our email exchange, I got this one.

I’m going to do it! I ‘m going to sign up and do my very best to raise as much money as I can!

You GO KJ!  I can personally say that raising money for Fred’s Team and gearing up to run Boston in honor of all the lives that have been touched by that dirty little disease called cancer,  has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had so far and I haven’t even run the race yet!  This race is so much bigger than my personal running goals. KJ and I are both now getting the chance to help kick cancer in the face!

I’m Inspired.

{MF Dre}

And PS.  Look who’s in the top 10 fundraising…

The Real Results.

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If I had been a smart cookie, I might have paid council to my trusty Magic 8 ball before being ever.so.cocky with my predictions for the start of the Sweet Sixteen.

I would have had a 50/50 chance of cooling my ego and maybe being a bit more non-committal in my quest for NCAA Family Pool Greatness.

Here’s where things get real.

I hear the water’s warm at the bottom.

On to better news.  I was a little miffed at myself last weekend when I didn’t make my sub-4 goal. And then yesterday I saw this.

Maybe a smidge difficult to read, but out of 23,000 runners, I was 4,454.  That’s in the top 20% of runners.  And in the pool of women, I came in at #986.  I don’t have the exact split of men to women, but if there were a minimum of 10,000 women running, that puts me in the top 10% of women.  Spinning  Looking at the results this way, for my first marathon, I did pretty darn well and was certainly NOT THE BIGGEST LOSER IN THIS ONE.  smiles.

So I’m moving on.  I took a pretty easy week letting my legs recover, had my body ravaged in yoga today and I’m now loose as a noodle.  Starting tomorrow, the Boston plan is back on. Let’s not forget this run (and my horrible, desperately in need of a haircut friends hair d0)

Boston’s in 3 weeks and after a bit of thinking/planning, I’ve decided to do the last three weeks of Hal Higdon’s Boston Bound plan which puts me at a 2 hour 3/1 run tomorrow, another 20 miler next weekend, some hills, some paces and a taper.

Let’s go!

{MF Dre}

Thursday Things.

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I’m still coming off the high of this and trying to put one foot in front of the other  stay focused on a busy week, but I feel like I’ve still got a case of the rambles.  Case.In.Point.Below.

Sweet 16 Madness Starts today and I’ve got a fighting chance right now.  I’m in 4th, but in terms of possible points..that would be 2nd.  The Doctah’s got me by 2.  Names.of.Losers.Have.been.Protected

I know everyone is already talking about it, but this is so darn funny. So.Incredibly.Blonde.

If you know me well, you know my favorite dessert ever is Carrot Cake and I have been known to eat it for Breakfast when it’s sitting in my kitchen {that much sugar should NEVER be consumed that early}  So imagine my delight when my friend sent me this recipe this week for Carrot Cake Pancakes… Um.Yes.Please.

And for all of you Los Angeles fashionistas, don’t forget about tonight’s Sample Sale at Palihouse.  Spring.Clean-Up.Time.

See you there tonight.

{MF Dre}

LA Marathon. theMFDre Edition.

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I’ve been sitting with this recap for the last day, and have had a hard time knowing where to start, where to end and where to fill in the gaps – it is a story I could run circles around and tell about 12 different ways.  Apologies if it’s a ramble.

Sunday’s marathon was rich with emotions and a ton of heart for me. Not to mention a lot of running.

and I finished it in 4:18!

Less than two years after this drama, I’m a marathoner.  And I am Proud.  Very Proud.

The morning started out VERY early – 1am.  The city decided that our street should be a NO STOPPING zone (even though we’re two blocks north of the course) and due to very short and very poor notice, over 45 cars were towed from our street all.night.long. Between the beeping of the tow trucks and the car alarms that were set off from the towing, there was no rest for the anxious and weary.

I opted to take the shuttle from Santa Monica to Dodger Stadium.  This was GENIUS.  The Mr. dropped me off at 5:15a and by 5:18a I was in a bus and 20 min later pulling in to the stadium.  The buses had dedicated lanes and entrances that made things so super easy.

Good Morning Dodger Stadium.

I met up with new running friend Pam (who is so awesome btw) who was ready to run her 7th LA Marathon and 19th overall marathon.  We hung out in the warming tent and chatted away, completely calming my nerves and at the same time getting me more excited to just run!

We separated right around 6:45 so I could check my gear and we could head into the start corrals. After pumping up the crowd with a little “I Love LA” we were off running through Downtown, Chinatown and Echo Park.  The first few miles were great.  The runnergy was so high that you could feel it.  Through miles 5-7 we hit our first few hills which were a bit steep, but manageable given the legs were still pretty fresh.

At mile 7, my friend Nathalie and her kids were there, cheering me on.  I gave her a HUGE hug, shed my first round of tears and kept on running, still feeling awesome.  At mile 8.5, Asics had set up a video board that family and friends could use to customize messages to runners.  It picked up your chip number and served you a message as you ran by.  Thanks to my brother’s slightly inappropriate and hysterically funny motivation, I laughed and cried and kept on running.

Miles 10-15 were through Hollywood & West Hollywood where the crowds and volunteers were in full force. The Tranny Cheerleaders in WeHo were a.maz.ing and as I was coming into Beverly Hills, the MF Dre became mid-pack marathon famous (as captured by the Mr. while they pre-partied at our house).

It was just a few minutes after this point that things went a bit south.  I was pacing really well – hitting all of my splits with relative ease and then suddenly I couldn’t keep fuel down. At Mile 16, I veered off course not being able to hold the Gu I’d just taken in.  I took a moment to regroup and got back on course, alternating running with walking for about 2 miles.  At Mile 18, my friends Beth and Cathleen were waiting for me with cowbells, posters and hugs. I stopped to hug them and distinctly remember Cathleen saying, don’t stop!!! keep running!! So off I went.

Mile 20 was a repeat of 16. Bummer. My sub-4 pace was blown, but then I knew I was 2 miles away from the Mile 22 Party so I started moving again, slowly.

As I hit Mile 22 and saw the Mr., Family and Friends I hit a brief adrenaline high and it was exactly what I needed once again.  I was now on my turf, with my friends, my neighbors and my community.   I was finishing this thing no matter what.

At Mile 23, I somehow tripped on a sewer cover, fell flat on my face and it was here that the severe cramping began.  Dehydrated and under-fueled, my entire body started to cramp pretty badly.  A nice man on the side of the road rolled up my pants and rubbed Ben-gay all over my legs.  Another put huge smears of Vaseline on my palms, hoping that it would help alleviate the road burn I’d just received.   And then I saw my friend Sally.  This is the girl who has been by my side through ALL THE BAD.  The one who rescued me off the slopes after my snowboarding crash and who delivered me food and sat by my side for hours and hours and hours before and after back surgeries. And there she was, smiling and ready at Mile 23.5, dressed in her running clothes, ready to once again, get by my side until the finish – stopping to help me rub out the cramps and motivating me through until the end.

And we made it {with a few more tears}

I am a marathoner!

It has taken me some time to process all of Sunday, and I am still processing.  But here are the big things:

  • I know that this is a ME PROBLEM, but I was a bit bummed on Sunday that I didn’t hit my goal of sub-4.  I know I’m capable, and that some events during the race got the best of me, but I was a smidge bummed.  Even having a goal for my first marathon – beyond the goal of just finishing –  might have been a bit crazy, but that’s me.   Today I feel proud for what I’ve overcome over the last few years and that is so much bigger than my silly little (BIG) sub-4 ego. And as Pam so eloquently reminded me, “Every Finish Line brings the Start of a New Race” {Bring it Boston and Chicago}
  • I felt a renewed sense of HUMANITY in the city of Los Angeles.  Perhaps it was because the streets were closed and people were on lock down from their {towed} cars, but the volunteers, the crowds and the runners were just plain amazing.  It felt like everyone, runner-and-non-runner alike, had each others back on this one and took care of one another – strangers rubbing my legs with Ben-Gay, tireless cheerleaders, Vaseline sticks, cut up oranges, smiles, high fives etc.  Thank You.
  • There is a reason it is called a MARATHON and not a SPRINT. It is a long journey and it is much more of a mental journey than physical.  There are smiles, tears, adrenaline rushes, hit-the-wall lows and everything in between.  Very few races are physically perfect and it is your mental spirit that makes or breaks a race.  Being able to re-frame my perspective on course, especially when I knew I had blown my sub-4 goal, was what got me there.

I am a Marathoner.{and I can’t wait to do it again next month in Boston}

Thank you all for so much love, all the cheering and endless support

{MF Dre}