Why Hollenbeck park is the perfect rest stop

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Why Hollenbeck park is the perfect rest stop

Our morning runs our 5 miles, but we don't run for 5 miles non stop.  We run up 4th Street to Hollenbeck Park in East Los Angeles.  It's roughly 2 1/2 miles to that point. 

At the park there is a lake and lots of ducks and geese.  If we haven't quite woken up yet when we start at the Midnight Mission at 6 am, we are by the time we reach Hollenbeck Park at 6:30am.  There we wait until other runners have a chance to catch up and share announcements about upcoming Skid Row Running Club events. 

For those of us who felt chilly at the beginning of the morning run, our bodies and lungs have a chance to warm up, so we are all feeling physically good at this point.

Do you have any suggestions on other places we can run in the downtown LA area?  Leave a comment and let us know!

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Doctors should prescribe running instead of meds...

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Doctors should prescribe running instead of meds...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-44440369

This article says it all.  If it's reported by the BBC, it's gotta be true right?

There is no doubt that running is one of the best form of exercises available to us.  The US Surgeon General and all doctors agree that exercise for at least 30 minutes, 3 days a week is the minimum to maintain good PHYSICAL health.

However, in the Skid Row Running Club, we've seen how the act of running itself can have tremendous impacts on a person's mental health.  Many people who suffer from addiction to alcohol and/or drugs are physiologically dependent on those substances, until something can replace it and their body can learn a new set of habits. 

Those recovering from homeless and addiction also suffer bouts of low-self esteem and confidence.  Running helps with that as well.  When you show up consistently, you improve.  Then you start setting goals for yourself and when you reach them, then you set bigger goals.

The runner's high is real, it's natural and it has no negative side effects.  

More importantly, it's free!

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The 1 thing you need to finish a race strong

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The 1 thing you need to finish a race strong

All distance runners strive to have that finishing kick towards the end of a race.  Whether it's a distance of 26.2 miles or 3.1 miles, you always want to finish strong.  

When you see the finish line that is usually enough motivation for you to kick it into another gear, especially when you know your pain and fatigue will end soon.

In a marathon, however, usually your glycogen stores have depleted and it's often difficult to summon the energy for that last push.

That is where strength training comes in.  A lot of people think that weight training will make you bulk up and therefore slower.  This is not the case with running, because in order to bulk up you need excess calories.  As a runner you burn lots of calories so you simply won't bulk up.  Strength training not only makes you a better runner because it works out the muscles imbalances that usually result in injury, but it trains your muscles to become more efficient.   Therefore you will become better runner.

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Skidrow 2nd Annual Ultramarathon Recap

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Skidrow 2nd Annual Ultramarathon Recap

On July 24, 2018, the SRRC had its second annual Ultramarathon.  It was an informal 50K that started in front of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA.  About a dozen members of the club showed up to support Craig and Nathan who ran the entire distance in less than 5 hours.

Last year, Nathan ran the entire distance of the LA River, 52 miles with runners from the club supporting him along the way.

This year, it was easier because we didn't have to run thru a river.  The first leg was 14 miles, all the way down to Grand Park in downtown Los Angeles. (This is a typical run for us during marathon training).   Once runners arrived at Grand Park, some runners moved on with the rest of their day and some other runners joined in.  They proceeded down Broadway Avenue until they made a right turn at Washington Blvd and headed west for about another 12 miles.  The last major transition point took place at the entrance of the Ballona Creek Bike Path and the intersection of La Cienaga and Jefferson in Culver City.   A couple of other runners left to finish the rest of their day and some more runners joined along to support Craig and Nathan as they ran the length of the bike path to Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey.

All in all it was a great event and a lot of fun for everyone involved.  Special thanks go out to Melissa, who not only drove the entire distance but provided refreshments and moral support that entire distance.  The medals you see where created by her!

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Today is a special day!

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Today is a special day!

After today's Monday run, we have a special celebration complete with gluten free brownies, orange juice and coffee courtesy of Coffee Bean.

What was the occasion you ask?  Today was the birthday of our founder, Judge Craig Mitchell.  If hadn't been born 63 years ago, it's unlikely the Skid Row Running Club would have been founded.

We had a good group come out to support.  At the end of run, a couple homeless folks came out to join us.  One of them was Roderick Brown.  He is a gentleman that Judge Mitchell sentenced to prison many years ago.  Roderick was paroled to the Midnight Mission.  While he was there, he reached out the Craig and invited him to visit to see what he was up to.

Judge Mitchell in typical fashion ran to the Midnight Mission, which is about 1 mile from the downtown LA Superior Courts.  When got there and took a look around, he had a meeting with the then director of the Midnight Mission.  They talked and thus the Skid Row Running Club was born.

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Stormtroopers in Jerusalem

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Stormtroopers in Jerusalem

All 40 plus members of the Skid Row Running Club had new running jackets for our most recent international marathon in Jerusalem.

The jackets were provided by one of our sponsor's Ellen's Silkscreening.  The colors were very 'vibrant' and certainly captured a lot of attention during our trip.

As long time club member, Ben Shirley, said "We looked like Stormtroopers entering into the marathon expo and lining up to get our bibs."

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Why the Skid Row Running Club works

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Why the Skid Row Running Club works

We are a community, a family.  We show up for each other and we genuinely care.  In the Skid Row Running Club income, status, social standing and occupation are irrelevant.  There is an atmosphere of non-judgment.

Many people in society feel constantly judged, as if they aren't good enough.  People in addiction recovery and experiencing homelessness especially feel this way.  Marginalized.

Feeling like you are not good enough and not worth of acceptance is very debilitating.  It makes it hard for you to become motivated to do anything postive.

In the Skid Row Running Club, lawyers, judges, LAPD Officers, executives, students, recovering addicts and the homeless run side by side.   Everyone that is out before the crack of dawn and pushing themselves physically is a person with admirable, redeeming qualities.  When that person learns to get up, show up and run again and again, they learn something about themselves.  In fact, we all do.

They learn that the are good enough, they learn that they are accepted for who they are and more importantly they learn the grit and resilience necessary to succeed in their lives as a result of running.  

Not everyone in recovery or experiencing homelessness is successful the first time, in fact it often takes several attempts.  Running is like that as well, but you learn to bounce back.   We members who have left our program, have left because of relapse or some other personal problem, they come back.  They come back because the know they are welcome and won't be judged.

That's why the Skid Row Running Club works.

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