Workout: I taught my way through a bunch of classes. I’m sure you don’t really care. It was a blur anyway. I barely made it. Sometimes I wonder how I have people show up. Ha.
Before I recap, I owe a huge thank you to Pro Compression for the race bib.
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So, the LA Marathon.
I had never run this race before. I really wanted to run it though since I ran The San Francisco Marathon and if you run both consecutively you complete the LA/SF Challenge. You know, I’m always up for a challenge.
I was signed up for a 4 am shuttle from Santa Monica to the start line. I decided the night before to call a cab instead to get an extra couple hours of sleep. It was an expensive decision, but the sleep was well worth it.
I was worried about the traffic, but it really wasn’t too bad. My friendly cabby dropped me off at Dodger Stadium with about an hour and a half until the start time. I didn’t know what to do with so much time on my hands.
I met up with Sarah pretty quickly inside the stadium. She had found this little Runner’s Chapel where they were holding a church service. It was awesome. There were nice bathrooms with a short line in there and they were singing this song, which is one of my favorites on my playlist. It was a great way to start the morning.
After meeting our new friend Gillian,
we made our way outside to drop off Sarah’s gear and well, use the bathroom again. This time it was the port a potties, but there were a lot of them all over the place so we didn’t have to wait too long.
Then we met up with Monica and headed towards the corrals.
They were both in a different corral than me. They were the cool kids that got a letter on their bib for a seeded corral. I was in the open corral behind them.
We said goodbyes and went our separate ways.
The fastest pace group I could stand with way back in my gated area was the 8:00 minute mile pace group and it wasn’t easy pushing my way up there.
I’m pretty sure I did not make any friends doing so. It was crowded. That’s okay though because it was time to put my game face on
I felt like I got to push my way up pretty close to the start once they took the gates away. I was darn close to the front when the official gun went off. The first mile was crowded. I just hugged the side a bit, dodged some people and tried to find my pace.
Luckily I had my Garmin working because the darn Nike+ app on my phone was not working well. It may have been an operator error, but it usually tells me every mile and my average pace per mile, but didn’t tell me anything the entire race. Pretty frustrating.
The course was really cool through the main streets of LA. It was flat for the most part and the weather was nice. There was great energy along the course too. I saw so many different people and things. I saw the Pope, Jesus, tons of cheerleaders (even some very interesting gentlemen ones) and quite a few bands/performers. I did not see any celebrities which was a bit disappointing. I was on the lookout for some. We even ran right by the studio where we filmed all the workouts with my friend Bob. It brought back some memories.
Random things they were giving away along the course- chilly cheese dogs, mangos, popsicles, licorice and beer. I did not take any of them, but I did suck down 3 GU packets and just a couple Power Bar Chomps. I didn’t take any Ultima at the aid stations either. I never really take electrolyte drinks on the course. I don’t know why. I especially didn’t take any Sunday because it was red and I was wearing white. I knew I would spill. I do not have good drinking technique while running. I’m a mess and I get the water from those cups all over my face. One of these days I’ll figure out how the cool people do it.
People along the course kept yelling that they liked my ears. I couldn’t figure out what the heck they were talking about. I thought maybe my ears were sticking out or something until I finally figured out they were talking about the headband Monica gave me before the race. Duh. And even though it started to give me a bit of a headache about halfway through, I fought to keep that darn thing on for 26.2 miles.
I went into this race without any real expectations. I did get a little more nervous than usual a couple days beforehand. I hadn’t really run long or hard for awhile though, so just wanted to go into it with an open mind. I was thinking I would shoot for around a 3:30, but run harder if I felt up for it. I knew in the morning that I was feeling pretty good and I thought it might be a great race.
I actually felt pretty good the whole race which was nice, especially after racing last weekend. I figured Sarah was in front of my the whole time so I was on the lookout for her. Unfortunately I can’t see well far away and there were quite a lot of green shirts, so I gave up after awhile.
I got a little concerned around mile 18 since at the Carlsbad Marathon 2013 that’s when things took a turn for the worse. I thought it was going to happen again, but I had to talk myself out of it. I had to tell myself I felt fine, my stomach wasn’t upset, I wasn’t going to crap my pants, I didn’t need a bathroom break, you know, the norm. Getting over that little mental block was key.
I have the tendency to start off too quickly in races and then I inevitably slow down towards the end. I’ve never been good at keeping a consistent pace, even for half marathons. I should really work on that. I think that part of the reason is because my darn mind wanders so much and I get more conservative as I get more tired rather than really pushing myself.
I actually still felt okay once I passed the 21 mile marker. (This race had really great air domes for each mile by the way so you felt pretty cool every time you went through one.)
I really started to struggle around mile 23. I was tired (who isn’t by then though, right?), but I knew I could get a PR even if I slowed down a bit and did the last 3 miles at around an 8:00 minute pace.
And then, the marathon pro herself tapped my shoulder. I may or may not have said an inappropriate word.
It was such a blessing to have her there. She is one fast cookie, and the first thing she said was that I was going to PR. She talked me through the last 2 miles. All I concentrated on was trying to keep pace with her. Luckily the last 2 miles were downhill also. That was key. It did seem like it took forever for that finish line to actually get close though.
we made it. And Sarah, being the amazing person that she is, stepped back at the finish line to let me cross first. Now that’s just silly.
I finished in 3:20:03. A PR by over 3 minutes. I’ll take it.
I will not take this from my Nike+ though.
I think I ran a little further than that. My Garmin was a little off too, but whatever.
It’s the official results that matter.
I will also gladly take 6th place in my age group out of 942 ladies.
And I just have to say, Sarah finished with a better time than me even with a bathroom stop and it was like no big deal for her. The girl is a machine. I’m practically old enough to be her mom, but she inspires me every day.
The local news must have realized how cool she is too. She got a little finish line interview.
Then I got one.
We’re so cool, aren’t we? Ha.
us me forever to try to get ready for our post race picture.
Then the nice lady came over with our medals and said we needed to wear them for the picture. Well, duh.
Then it took us just a few more minutes to get it together
and admire our medals.
Then, we were ready.
Then we did what we know how to do best- a little post race “grocery shopping”.
After about asking the fifth person for a bag or a box, these nice new friends helped a mama out.
My excuse for hoarding all the goodies was because I had twins at home. I’m also fairly certain that I not only told the nice girl she was my new best friend, but that I wanted to kiss her. Lovely.
I got some pretty great stuff though. Gotta make my boys proud. Great timing too since we were running low on “poo poo treats” around here.
Since this marathon completed the LA/SF Challenge for me, I got to pick up my special medal.
And, well, thankfully Sarah and I walked together for a bit since her man parked close to my friend’s place where I was staying. She even carried my goodies for me since I was freezing and could barely feel my fingers.
And, well friends, that’s that.
Marathon number 7 in the books. Hey, I just realized it was number 7, how awesome that lucky number 7 was a PR.
I’m getting my schedule figured out for the next few months, but I my have some really exciting big race news coming up.
Have a good one!