Running with a Team

Dr. Lisa Gonzales is a 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassador, and a 7-time pacer for the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and 5-time pacer for the Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon. She is a head coach for South Bay RUN365 club and is USATF certified.

As rewarding as it is, running can often be a very insular sport where it’s essentially your body and mind versus the elements. However, there is a whole facet of training with a group that can keep training fun and rewarding over time.

From my experience as a head coach for the South Bay RUN365, there are many perks that come from training with a team that will help keep you running happy and improving as a runner. Have you thought about running with a training team? If not, I may have some good reasons why you should…


Every week (or more frequently, depending on schedules), your team will have planned training runs that will give you an opportunity to meet and run with new people. These runs are filled with different runners with different backgrounds, sharing their experiences with one another while running. It’s the element of inspiration that is drawn from all these individuals that will fuel the motivation you need for consistency as a runner. Additionally, some training clubs will often bring in speakers who will cover a wide range of running topics that will help shorten your learning curve as a runner.


Admittedly, we as runners can lose focus with a training regimen if we were left to our own devices. There’s a fascinating effect that accountability partners can bring which will help keep our eye on the prize; it might be the paradox of not wanting to disappoint others […]

“Ready to Run” (…Despite the Wildfires)

Written by Scott Benbow

Scott Benbow is a 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon Ambassador

This past autumn, the devastating fires in Paradise, California claimed the lives of many while uprooting families and destroying property. Having lost loved ones, property, and pets, it will be years before some of the survivors return to any semblance of normal lives again.

Here in San Francisco, we were spared the immediate dangers of the wildfires but our thoughts were with the victims to the northeast. However, we were reminded daily of the emergency in Paradise because the air quality in the city diminished to dangerous levels as a result. As the air worsened, an ever-growing number of people in the city donned ventilation masks in an attempt to protect their lungs. Having lived in this city of oddballs and eccentrics for 18 years, I had never seen pedestrians across the city look so bizarre.

The wildfires posed dilemmas for many in the running community. “Should I run with a mask?” My answer was, “Hell no!” Race Directors had the even more difficult decision to make and I was pleased that the organizers of road and trail races in the region–including the organizers of the Berkeley Half Marathon, the North Face Endurance Challenge, the T9 Mermaid Series Run in San Francisco, and the Monterey Bay Half Marathon–all decided to cancel their races. They were under intense pressure from runners not to cancel because of those who invested time, training, attention, and money to running these races.

On my social media feeds, I was pleased to see that most of my friends were intentionally choosing not to run in the dangerous air. They are a dedicated bunch, so I wondered how they would fill the […]

By |December 13th, 2018|Ambassadors|0 Comments|

Making Running A Personal And Community Adventure

Four months after running her first marathon at the Biofreeze SF Marathon, Katie Burns took 39 minutes off her personal best at CIM.

The marathon is an event like no other, one where elites and the everyday runners challenge their minds and bodies for 26.2 unrelenting miles together on the same course. Each runner’s story is vastly different, making each experience and accomplishment all the more compelling.

As Katie Burns toed the line at the 2018 California International Marathon (CIM) on December 2nd, it would be her second marathon of the year and her second, lifetime. Four months prior in July, she made her foray into the world of marathoning at the 2018 Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon, finishing with a chip time of 4:08:46.

A self-proclaimed “non-sporty person”, Burns has always had a love for being outside as much as she could. Naturally, running found its way into her life as a way of channeling her energetic personality, starting with one of many couch-to-5K training plans that she would find on the internet. As her running became more steady, she ultimately found herself in the RUN365 training club where she would eventually become a pacer.

“The biggest success I have found has been community and consistency,” Burns said. “I absolutely love being a part of RUN365 because I know I always have a running buddy waiting for me and a run already scheduled. Even as things got crazy at work and in life, I was able to carve out an hour here or there to join my friends for a run, which made all the difference in my training.”

Burns entered CIM with confidence in her build-up, logging in the necessary miles with the proper dose of speed work […]

By |December 7th, 2018|Ambassadors|0 Comments|

Running and Weight Loss?

By Stephanie Laska, M.Ed

Stephanie is an Ambassador for the 2018 Biofreeze Berkeley Half Marathon.

I’ve lost 140 pounds, about half of my body weight. I didn’t have surgery or use medication; I lost the weight the old-fashioned way, through diet and exercise. I understand that’s not a sexy answer. People want a quick fix, a powder, a plan, something they can purchase with monthly installments and VOILA! Weight loss guaranteed. Still, folks want something to hang their hat on.

“RUNNING? YOU RUN MARATHONS? Well of course that why she lost weight!” is what I often hear.

“Well I could lose weight too if I could RUN A MARATHON!” they continue, followed with all of the excuses of why running is impossible.

This got me thinking…

Did I run to lose weight?

Or did I lose weight so I could run?

I’m going to get all crazy right now and suggest the later. The greatest secret of running and weight loss is that it is backwards. Running with the motivation of losing weight rarely works, but losing weight so you CAN RUN? Now we’re talking!

Why is that?

Everyone knows that to lose weight you need to cut overall calorie consumption. Thus, running and dieting can be tricky, if not incompatible because running requires fuel. You need to eat to run. I’ve tried running on an empty stomach and I end up slowing my pace, vowing to never run again, or even speed dialing an Uber. My pre-run regime involves a banana, granola, some pretzels, or dare I admit, a donut! You need food in order for your body to perform. Yes, running is an efficient way to burn calories, but because of its intensity, you must ignite the fire.

On the flip side, there […]

By |October 22nd, 2018|Ambassadors|0 Comments|

Coming Back From an Injury

Contributed by Kelli Hashimoto, a 2018 Ambassador for the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon and Berkeley Half Marathon.

Imagine this: you are getting excited to start training for your upcoming race and just like that, you find yourself dealing with a nagging injury.

For us runners, being injured is the absolute worst thing that can happen and it always seems to happen at the worst possible time. Do not fret–the comeback is always stronger than the setback.

From plantar fasciitis to runner’s knee to tendonitis; I feel like I have experienced it all. The process will be difficult and will test your willpower…but it is so worth it.

Here are some helpful tips when coming back from an injury…

Do not run through the pain
Any lingering pain? Stop now. Recovering from your injury is more important than running through the pain on a single training run. Take extra rest days between runs and add more cross-training. This is the best advice that I was given from my physical therapist.

Consult a professional
It seems like many runners hate going to a doctor or a physical therapist but I have learned to go right away. My physical therapist will tell me if it is safe for me to run on an injury without making it worse, hence the advice above.

Be patient and trust the process
Aside from the first tip, this is the most important piece of advice to listen to. You may still be in top shape depending on your injury but your body will not be as ready to jump back in right away. Take it slow and strive for progress. Don’t worry if your training plan says to run 10 miles. No one knows your body better than you so listen […]