The ASICS LA Marathon.
I love this particular race. Really it’s one of my favorites. Everything is awesome (I’ve been saying that way too much lately by the way) – the crowd support, the point to point course, the finish right at the ocean, the fact that it’s close and you get to see all of LA, it’s a fast and flat course (very similar to Boston), etc.
The first time I ran this marathon was last year. It was epic. I got a PR. I loved everything about it. My recap is here.
This year I still really loved it and especially everything about the entire weekend, but I had a pretty tough time on the course. It was a rough one for me.
I know it just comes with the territory, everyone has races that aren’t great, but it’s always a bit disappointing.
It wasn’t a goal race for me and I didn’t plan on trying for a PR or anything anyway as I have a pretty full race schedule ahead, but I’m still pondering over what went wrong.
I do also think that it just means the next race will be that much better and it’s important to learn and grow from experiences like these. What would things be like if every single race was a good one, right? That doesn’t build character.
Okay, so let’s recap.
I was fortunate enough to be there with the ASICS Blogger Challenge Team. We had a special shuttle that took us to the start at Dodger Stadium. We met in the hotel lobby at 4:30 am. It felt just a tad early with the time change and everything. Ha. Not to mention I had a pretty poor night of sleep. It was one of those nights where you’re just laying there tossing and turning and can’t sleep. Yeah, good times.
When we got to our special VIP area
thankfully there was coffee.
I was just a little excited since there was lots of it.
Wait, exactly how much time do I have to chug down coffee?
I’d never been inside a Stadium Club before. It’s the happening place.
They had lots of other pre race goodies for all of us too. The purple potato though, well, that may have come with me in my bag.
Oh and special fancy inside club bathrooms before a race- those are key.
We headed to our seeded corrals about an hour before race time.
It was actually already a pretty comfortable temperature. We didn’t need any gloves or throw aways or anything.
We waited in our corral for a long time. You know, just long enough for me to realize I had to go to the bathroom, but couldn’t leave the corral. Lovely.
Shortly after the sun came up it was go time.
Michele and I planned on running together and shoot for a 3:20ish pace.
Right off the bat my stomach was not right. I was not feeling well, but thought maybe I could run it off a bit.
By mile 8 we were feeling great. We were right on pace and all smiles.
I was especially all smiles when I passed the big screen and saw the message “Run like your going after the last purple potato” (or something like that). Yep, I don’t know who wrote that for me, but THANK YOU! It was so fun seeing that out there and definitely a highlight out on the course. I hope it was for me. Ha ha.
Things took a turn for the worse around mile 11 for me. I had to make a pit stop and was super sick to my stomach. It was not good. I thought after one stop all would be good, but I was wrong.
I managed to keep up a decent pace for a bit, but had to stop 2 more times in the next few miles.
I had a GU at mile 9, but by mile 16 I was hurting. It was hot out, my lips were super dry and I was thirsty, but my stomach was cramping and full of water since I had been stopping at every water station.
Pretty soon it was tough to breath and my chest started hurting. That never happens so it freaked me out a bit.
I started slowing down A LOT.
There was a few times between mile 16-20 that I questioned if I was going to make it to the finish. I’ve never really felt that before either.
My body just wanted no part of running.
I kept going though. I prayed. I asked for strength. I told myself it’s better that it was happening now rather than in Boston. I told myself that everyone has tough races.
Truth be told, I had a pretty off week last week leading up to the race and just couldn’t mentally get in race mode.
I tried not to look at my GPS anymore because I didn’t really want to see what pace I was running. I just wanted to concentrate on making it to that finish line.
Right around mile 22 I caught back up with Michele. She was having a tough time too. We were both definitely dehydrated a bit.
We said a couple of choice words, told each other we were a little ticked at the situation, complained a bit and then decided, well, let’s get this done together.
So we did.
We stuck together. We walked a few times. We stopped at every water station except the last two.
We didn’t talk much and couldn’t even really enjoy the fabulous downhill to the finish.
We saw a lot of other runners cramping up and stopping on the side of the road especially the last couple of miles. I think it was a tough day for a lot of people.
And finally we crossed that finish line hand in hand.
You can see our finish video HERE.
We made it.
We started together and we ended together. Not quite the race we were hoping for, but we did it.
Oh my goodness did I feel relief. I was so glad to just be done.
Only about 18 minutes slower than my last marathon 7 weeks ago. Nice.
But, hey, at the end of the day, it’s just a race. I’m super proud that I ran a marathon. You never know what life will bring and when your body is going to decide it has had enough racing. I am truly blessed.
Random, but before I forget, I have to tell you that there was a group of 182 Legacy Runners who ran the marathon who have run it every single year since the first race in 1986. How cool is that? 29 years in a row they’ve run this race. Crazy.
After the finish we headed to the VIP post race party.
We stopped to chat with Josh Cox for a bit.
He gave us some good advice on how to look at the race.
He said that it’s just another deposit in the bank. It all helps our training. Every race or long run is like a deposit in a bank account. When you have a big race you take it out and hope for the best, but sometimes it doesn’t turn out the way you planned. But the miles and the effort and the hard work go in as a hefty deposit.
He also reminded us that it’s still important to recovery well even after a race like we had.
I’m reminding myself of that this week. Even though I mentally want to get back out there as soon as possible and hop back into training for Boston and Big Sur, I ‘m making myself really rest and recover this week to give my body some time.
Oh and hey, check out what we got as a VIP.
Oh heck yes we got brand spanking new Nutribullets.
So darn excited.
We decided to go do the shower and ice thing and then come back down to the party.
We tried to look presentable for Coach Kastor since he did such a great job of motivating us and guiding us through our training for the marathon.
Mr, Andy Potts, well, he just told use to put ice down our pants. Ha.
You know, post race beverages and food are better when your clean.
They are also better when served with teeny tiny hot sauces.
We could still see and hear people finishing from the party and for the remainder of the afternoon actually.
Oh yeah, and just because Brian told us to, we made sure to sport our medals all day.
We had a little down time in the afternoon. Mine looked like this.
It was perfect.
One last toast and talk from the Coach Kastor. Seriously one of the nicest people ever.
I think I’m going to follow the training plan I have and start using it after this week to lead up to Boston. I really like his style.
Oh and a huge shout of to the wonderful Melinda who organized all of this for us. She is magnificent.
Speaking of magnificent, so was our dessert.
The weekend was filled with good times with some darn amazing people.
It will definitely go down as one of the best weekends ever.
I’m already looking forward to next year. You better believe I’m coming back LA. Only 386 more days.
And this quote from Runner’s World today could not have come at a better time.
I know I’m getting up there in age, but I will never stop setting goals and dreaming big.
It’s important to stumble in life sometimes so you can just prove to yourself and to everyone else that you have the strength and determination to get right back up and keep moving forward.
Have you ever had a not that great race?
What’s your next big goal or dream?