LA Marathon Recap

 

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.

Speaking of, you only have 1 day left to enter the HUGE GIVEAWAY! So sign up for the email list and order some compression socks using code MARCH for 40% off and free shipping so you can be entered into the giveaway.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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After meeting our new friend Gillian,

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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.

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Then we met up with Monica and headed towards the corrals.

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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.

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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.

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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

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and make sure my Mizuno Elixir 8s were tied.

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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.

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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.

But……..

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.

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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.

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I think I ran a little further than that. My Garmin was a little off too, but whatever.

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It’s the official results that matter.

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I will also gladly take 6th place in my age group out of 942 ladies.

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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.

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Then I got one.

(Sarah’s picture)

We got a little appearance in this video around 2:13. (Thanks Sarah for the link. I stole it from the Skinny Runner blog.) They did some serious damage to the spelling of my last name. Lovely.

 

We’re so cool, aren’t we? Ha.

It took us me forever to try to get ready for our post race picture.

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Then the nice lady came over with our medals and said we needed to wear them for the picture. Well, duh.

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Then it took us just a few more minutes to get it together

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and admire our medals.

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Then, we were ready.

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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.

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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.

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Not anymore.

 

Since this marathon completed the LA/SF Challenge for me, I got to pick up my special medal.

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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.

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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.

Good stuff.

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I’m getting my schedule figured out for the next few months, but I my have some really exciting big race news coming up.

Woo hoo!

Have a good one!

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Comments

  1. 1
    Amy says:

    You both did awesome and inspire me everyday!!!

    Congratulations! It’s not fair how cute you both look after running a marathon, though ;)

  2. 2
    Rene' says:

    That is awesome! Congrats!

  3. 3
    Kathy says:

    That’s awesome…..I figured SR was a machine but didn’t realize what kind of machine until you made it clear…very cool for both of you!!

  4. 4

    Whoohooo! SO SO SO awesome, K! Looking forward to your big race news !! Are you coming to NYC to run with me? HA =)

  5. 5

    You always a) look super cute and happy and b) come away with the most loot! Love it and congrats on that shiny new PR. You’re a total rock star!

  6. 6
    Kim Perry says:

    Bahaha! Your Nike+ made me laugh out loud!! And you made out like a bandit with those goodies!
    You both did awesome! So happy for you & congrats on completing the LA/SF challenge!
    Can’t wait to hear your big news! :)

  7. 7

    You are awesome! Congrats on the PR and I love your box of goodies, I need to do this at my next race! I’ll just blame it on the kids I don’t have and maybe they will believe me ;)

  8. 8
    Linda says:

    You are amazing! Congrats on the PR!!! And you always look so happy!!!

  9. 9
    Marti says:

    awesome job! looks like a good race and you did amazing! congratulations on your pr!!

  10. 10
    Sarah says:

    So, so, SO awesome!! Congratulations on your PR!!

  11. 11
    Lindsay says:

    What a great time! And congrats on your PR :D

  12. 12
    Annie Quinn says:

    Congratulations! I am incredibly impressed and feeling very inspired! I follow both you and SR and it’s so fun to see pictures of you two together!

  13. 13
    Amanda says:

    Awesome job! I’m super impressed with your time, hopefully some day I’ll be hitting those times!

  14. 14
  15. 15
    skinnyrunner says:

    So proud of you my friend and a big pr! Thanks for running with me! Now what’s your big news????

  16. 16

    “poo poo treats”…you crack me up! You did an amazing job friend. I’m so happy for your success! Now, share your magic with me…please!

  17. 17
    Caitlin F. says:

    You. Are. Awesome. Congrats, lady!!

  18. 18

    Congrats on the PR and awesome race! Amazing time. And love the box of goodies :)

    I think NIKE was oh just a little bit off the mark with mileage…

  19. 19
    Nicole says:

    You, Sarah, and Monica are awesome! Congrats x100 on the PR!

  20. 20
    kim says:

    you are living my dream, you have me over here in tears (of joy ) way to go! remarkable, truly remarkable ;)

  21. 21
    Chels R. says:

    You lean mean PR machine! Way to kick some serious 26.2 booty! Seriously woman you should be very proud :-)

  22. 22
    Sasha says:

    Wow – congrats Kris! You’re such a rockstar. And you girls look so cute in our special St. Patty’s Day running outfits. Very happy for you!

  23. 23

    Congratulations Kristin!! So so awesome.

  24. 24

    1. Congrats again on the PR.
    2. I LOVE the festive outfits!
    3. I have the same garmin but in green (you should’ve asked, you could’ve borrowed it to match ;) )
    4. You Rock!

  25. 25
    Chelsea says:

    That’s SO awesome, Kristin – congrats again on the amazing PR! You ran LA with some beautiful ladies, and you guys are all just SO inspiring! Keep kicking butt, girl.,

  26. 26
    Tess says:

    Awesome and Inspirational!

  27. 27
    kalli says:

    really well done kristin! i enjoyed my first marathon that day and may be hooked!

  28. 28

    HUGE congrats to you Kristin!! And, I’m so glad Sarah could offer you that encouragement at the right time too! You should be VERY proud!!

  29. 29

    Honestly – so much respect for people that do these marathons!!! CONGRATS!!! Love all the pics!

  30. 30
    RunEatRepeat says:

    Love love love! Great job :)

  31. 31
    Janine says:

    Congrats on the PR! You may not remember, but we met (briefly as you passed me!) at Carlsbad–and it’s kind of nice to know someone else thought the last few miles of Carlsbad hurt like Crazy. By 23 I was praying for the finish!

    • 31.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Janine- I totally remember you!!!! Your gluten free, right? How are you? Oh yes, those last few miles of Carlsbad were brutal. Ugh.

      • Janine says:

        Not all gluten but wheat (and dairy, too) for a med. condition (plus I’m a grad student, so youre quick muffin-type recipes are awesome from a time perspective)! So jealous of all your San Diego races–I live in Colorado, so I was happy to do a long run in weather above 20 degrees. Other people were freezing at Carlsbad, and I was throwing water on myself at aid stations :)

  32. 32
    Gillian says:

    Congrats all around for PR’s!!! I was hoping that random guy who took our picture got the socks. Oh well. Someday I hope to be as speedy as you ladies and run with you. I’m working on it! Please tell me each marathon recovery gets easier. I do the stiff quad walk for 2-3 days and going downstairs, ugh. I can’t imagine running for at least a few more days. But I am already plotting my next race!

  33. 33

    You killed it girl!! You are speedy!!! Great job. You are such an inspiration to me!

  34. 34
    wendy says:

    Huge congrats on the PR!!! You are awesome! I LOVE reading your blog. You totally crack me up. And that box!?!?! Oh my goodness, totally made my day!!

  35. 35

    Congrats on the PR!!!!! amazing time.
    and holy cow did you stock up after that race!! lots of goods! :)

  36. 36
    Samantha says:

    Your site got so taken over by a Pantene ad right now that I thought I was on the wrong site! :) You have so much lovely weather going on. I loved that you both got interviewed. Have a great day!

  37. 37
    Laura says:

    Congrats on an awesome race and a great PR, you earned it! Glad you have such a great friend to run with and support you. You are both inspirational ladies!

  38. 38
    Meg G. says:

    Congrats on an awesome race & new PR! I also ran LA but while I loved the course, I had a terrible race (I’ve been mad, sad, and now eh, it happens). Anyway, I also see your from Escondido, I grew up in Vista and worked in Escondido at the CA Center for the Arts. Anyway, I rarely see Escondido around so I felt like I just had to say something. Congrats again on a great race!!!!

  39. 39
    Pam says:

    Huge Congrats on your PR Kristen!!! :) You really ran a strong race. SR is a really cool, humble chic. It doesn’t surprise me that she let cross the finish before her. When we ran Red Rock marathon she’d actually wait for me at the crest of each hill. I’ll never forget that! Happy that you two had each other to finish strong!!! Wishing a speedy recovery so, that you run just as strong or stronger at Boston!! :)

  40. 40
    Katie says:

    First, congrats on the PR – great time! Second, I don’t know you and you’re probably really nice, but your habit of taking TONS of food post-race has me perplexed – to the point I asked my friends what their thoughts were about it. Turns out, runners taking a ton of food post-race is a pet peeve for many of them. I’m just curious if you ever worry about the full marathoners (when you’re running the half) or slower runners not getting (enough) food. Some races, like Boston, pre-bag the snacks so people can’t go crazy, but most races don’t and just trust people not to take too much. I’m really not trying to be attacking, but just wondering what your thoughts are on this. Thanks!

    • 40.1
      STUFT Mama says:

      Emailed you and thanks for bringing this to my attention. I never thought of it and now realize it’s a bit selfish. I’m feeling bad and realizing that it’s probably not that funny to others. I’m putting myself on “race shopping” restriction.

  41. 41
    Lindsey Hein says:

    Congratulations on a great race! I bet that was nice to PR when you weren’t even necessarily aiming to do so. And not feeling bad until mile 23 is a good thing! Sounds like you had a great weekend!

  42. 42
    Elizabeth says:

    Serious rockstar!!! Congrats!!

  43. 43
    Leslie says:

    Way to go StuftMama!!!! :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] I was out of town this past weekend for the LA marathon and it made me think about how sometimes it’s more difficult to make good decisions when you’re [...]

  2. [...] of a friend Sarah is racing too. She is a rock star. She’s ran about 10 marathons since we ran the LA Marathon in March (and won her most recent one) while I’ve just fed my face and collected unused race [...]

  3. [...] scared though. My last marathon was the LA Marathon in March and three days after that I couldn’t walk and was out of running for 5 [...]

  4. [...] doing the ASICS LA Marathon in just 5 weeks with a group of other bloggers. We’re all working with Coach Kastor a bit leading [...]

  5. [...] year I raced this marathon, got a PR and was sidelined two days after with my injury. Crazy that it was a year [...]

  6. [...] The LA Marathon is Sunday, but we have quite a few events leading up to the race that include hanging out with Coach Kastor, his wife Deena Kastor and you know, just some other amazing ASICS elite athletes. No big deal or anything. Ha ha. [...]

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