Running Races to Enter in 2014

Dublin Marathon 2012While only January, you probably are suffering through workouts on treadmills and if you do venture outside, you are bundling up wearing an excessive amount of clothes–not something runners prefer. But it’s time to start thinking of ramping up the long runs and considering what races to add to your 2014 calendar. With the rising costs of registration fees, travel expenses and the obligatory parking fees at various races, you must carefully select each race. Here are a few options to consider, some for fun and others to PR:

Marathon: Chicago Marathon
Held each October, the Chicago Marathon sells out in record time each year. It’s best to be ready at the computer to click on the “register” button immediately when it opens. Of the nation’s most famous marathons, it’s surprisingly the most easy to enter. NYC is very challenging with its lottery system; most participants wait more than three years to get in, and Boston is a qualifier. Want to go big? Then enter Chicago.

Half Marathon: Hollywood Half Marathon
The Hollywood Half Marathon provides both a race/destination adventure. You can run along the famed Hollywood Boulevard and step on celebrities’ stars as you race through the miles. Also, participants often dress up as celebrities–so be sure to bring your Elvis or Marilyn Monroe outfits. After the race, attend Universal Studios or pick up tickets to a taping of one of your favorite shows. Plan to spend an extra couple of days to make this race worth the travel expense.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

International Race: Paris Marathon
Taking place in early April, you’ll need to start training hard immediately and book your flight now to take part in the Paris Marathon. But Paris in the spring with a marathon course that traverses past all the major tourist attractions, you’ll view the city of Paris on foot–along with a few thousand friends.

Adventure Race: Color Run
Growing in popularity, Color Runs are simple 5K races taking place throughout the country. Every kilometer, racers are doused in colors,giving you a rainbow look as you cross the finish line. Participants wear a white T-shirt to accentuate the brightness of the massive color throws.

A Birthday Run

This weekend I celebrated a birthday. While it wasn’t any significant milestone, which I consider an age ending in zero or five because that means a new racing group, I am a year older.


I certainly feel it, too. I went out for a celebratory run early on my birthday through the streets of East LA, as I was visiting the area for the weekend. I climbed the hills of Pasadena, waved at Mark Feuerstein of “Royal Pains” fame as he ran with his dog in Runyon Canyon and saw Lance Bass speed by in a sparkling white Mercedes. It felt so good to get out and run on my special day. I even picked up the pace down a significant hill, sprinting at a speed much faster than usual.

I returned to my friends’ home flushed, sweating and with a big smile on my face. What a way to start day one of a new age!

Then the next day came. My legs were so sore and it hurt to even try to straighten them out. I wanted a massage and cursed lactic acid. I rubbed them with lotion, tried self-myofascial release with a foam roll and wore my comfortable shoes, despite my desire to wear the new pair of heels I received for my birthday.

I was tired, too. All I wanted to do was sleep. Is this what old age feels like? Although I have a new age to write on doctor’s forms, I really was only a day older than the previous day. But as much as I loathe to admit, this has been happening for the past couple of years. I’ve reached an age where my body doesn’t recover the same way. I used to run eight miles a day with no energy lost. Now I run five miles and my body aches.

Yes, this is what old age feels like. And I don’t like it.

I’ve decided to start eating healthier, banning that second Diet Coke during the day and turning to water to stay flushed out so that my running doesn’t feel so weighted down. I’ll try to stretch more often after I run as I can feel my muscles tighten as I age.

Although I can’t turn back the hands of Father Time, I can try to slow them down.