Monday, August 31, 2009

Donor Profile #2

Meet Jenny Ramaswamy! Another fabulous supporter of More than a Marathon.

Favorite Bay Area spot: Marin Headlands

Describe the Bay Area in one word: Fantabulous

Graduate University and Degree: University of Chicago, Masters of Social Science with an emphasis in Cultural Psychology

Current Employer: Google

Current Occupation/Title: Marketing Manager

Furthest you've ever run: 26.2 miles (not more than a marathon)

Favorite quote: A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered. - Emerson

Current favorite song:

Please describe a significant moment in your education and how it impacted you:

This is a tough one. I am not sure I have one significant moment. I come from a family of teachers. My mother's parents both made their careers and education and all three of their daughters made careers in the local school district. A commitment to education surrounded me and constantly reminded me of how important it was.

Why are you supporting More than a Marathon:

Not everyone is born into a family of educators and unfortunately not everyone in the US has access to high quality education. My husband and I live in SF and are expecting our first child in January. We've already been told that we shouldn't plan to send our children to public schools here. That just isn't acceptable to me. What about the children in this city that don't have the luxury to consider alternatives? We have the ability to bring high quality education to all of our youth - its a matter or prioritizing this above other resource needs. I think what Matt is doing to raise awareness for this issue is admirable. I also appreciate that 100% of my $111.00 donation will go to Teach for America. I look forward to watching Matt cross the finish line and seeing more people in our area take an interest in making education better for everyone in our community.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Learning something new every day

For the past few weeks, I've been running in various clubs and events around the city to keep myself from getting too bored. As some of you may recall from an earlier post, I started out my group runs with the Golden Gate Tri Club on the Dipsea trail. And what a start it was. That run let me know that I had a long way to go.

A couple of weeks back I did a training run with with a group preparing for the Nike Womens Marathon
. My roommate's girlfriend had told me that a lot of men came to the runs, so I tried it out. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly depending on how you look at it, there were quite a few fellas there, and a number of strong runners, both men and women. I ended up running with John and Metha. John had won the coveted Western States buckle, and Metha runs with the Impala racing team and has a record 6:35 marathon pace. Needless to say, it was a good, fast run. It was also a lot of fun. John and Metha kept me distracted and entertained for the whole run. This was the way to do it.

I still felt a little weird showing up for training runs for the Nike Womens marathon though, so this past weekend I decided to try out the San Francisco Road Runners Club, and I think I may have found my niche. The group was great. The pace was right, and, best of all, I learned a thing or two.

See, the coolest thing about the road runners was the class after the run. After we finished, their coaches taught a class on proper long distance training. Up till then, I had just been running whatever my training schedule called for as fast as I could. Boy, you should have seen the look on the coaches faces when I said that! Hilarious. It was basically the facial equivalent of one of my mother's favorite phrases from when I was younger, "You're cruising for a bruising, mister!"

In the class, they explained to me that there are really three different types of training runs. The first are your long slow distance runs. These are the runs that everyone thinks of when they think about long distance training. 16, 18, 20 mile runs to build endurance in you muscles and joints.

But there are two other important types of runs that the uninitiated don't know about: speed workouts and pace runs. It may seem counter intuitive, but speed training is actually quite important when training for longer distances. Pushing you body close to its limits over short distances helps to increase its ability to process oxygen, which makes your muscles more efficient during both short and longer runs.

As you might guess, pace runs are runs where you training at your target pace. They're middle distance runs -- never more than half your goal distance. These runs make your body more efficient at processing lactic acid and push the point where your muscles lock, further and further out.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Donor profile

Today is another first for the blog. In addition to featuring corps members and the great work they're doing, I'd also like to feature my supporters. They're making a huge contribution to education in the bay as well, and I want to make sure to give credit where its due. They're also pretty awesome people generally, so I hope you enjoy meeting them!

Name: Charlie Love

Favorite Bay Area spot: The Coastal Trail

Describe the Bay Area in one word: Mirage

University and Degree: BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Employer: A leading medical software company

Occupation: Web designer

Furthest you've ever run: 26.2

Favorite quote:

"Nothing takes the taste out of peanut butter quite like unrequited love." - Charlie Brown

Current favorite song:

Please describe a significant moment in your education and how it impacted you:

It has been so long since college, that I'm not sure if I can recall a specific moment that changed me. I do remember that I always excelled in school when the coursework was subjective, which is why I do what I do today.

Why are you supporting More than a Marathon:

I've had several close friends participate in the Teach for America program. It's a good cause.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Route

Last week I finally had a chance to check out my proposed route to Mountain View. To minimize pavement pounding, I've been planning to run along the east bay. SF2G recently discovered a route in the east bay right along the water: 37 miles total distance, 17 on trails, almost all of it directly on the bay. One section even runs along a retaining wall. For a good while, you're practically in the middle of the bay. It was a beautiful ride, and I highly encourage everyone to check it out.

I'm starting to think that it might not be the route for me though. First, its not really running to work, now is it? The ride starts in San Leandro, and I live in San Francisco. Second, It leaves me stuck in the east bay for most of the run. A few different people have suggested having people run different sections of the commute, but that can't really happen if I'm on the wrong side a huge body of water. Now I'm thinking I'll probably just run the original SF2G route pioneered by Joe Gross.

I've been told its not the prettiest, but its the most direct route from SF2G.  So, if any of you care to join me for a leg, let me know in the comments.  I'd love the company :)

And, now, without further ado, you song of the post.

Cut Copy - Far Away