LA Marathon Race Report
Last weekend, I finished the LA Marathon in Los Angeles, California. This was my 14th marathon overall, and my 4th in 2013 and one more notch in the next Maniac level (3 stars). I selected this race about a month ago while we were looking for a destination that we could visit for 5-6 days before my husband start his new position at the hospital.
My plan for this race was to take it easy. After all, I have an ultra marathon on Saturday, so I didn't want to overdo it and attempt a PR. Someone (who was probably on drugs at the time, LOL), told me this race was flat with a couple of uphills. This course was NOT flat at all. In fact, I didn't see anything flat until we hit Mile 26 at the beach. As soon as I arrived in LA on Tuesday I knew this went from 4:45 as a goal to hoping to break 5 hours.
Since we arrived Tuesday, I had time for the jetlag and time change to be better. Unfortunately, as you all know, I've been dealing with some nosebleeds and other issues that I'm sure are asthma related, so I didn't feel 100% when I boarded the plane. That, coupled with the huge vacation extravaganza of amusement parks, long drives to San Diego, and lots of walking, made me exhausted by Friday. Still, I felt OK and the nosebleeds had lessened. Overall, I was ready to have a good time.
I wore a St. Patrick's outfit, an green Inknburn shirt they made for St. Patrick's and found green knee high socks at Universal City Walk that said BEER in them. No matter how I felt, I was planning on having fun.
I didn't sleep much the night before, as the time change was making me wake up every 30 minutes after 3am all week. I got ready and woke my husband up so he could drive me to the Dodger Stadium. We were staying in Redondo Beach (great area), so the drive was going to be of 30 minutes or thereabouts. He dropped me off at 6:30 and I went straight to the potties, where I spent the next 30 minutes in line. Did my business and attempted to find the open corral. Having registered after the deadline for corrals, I was assigned an open corral, behind the 5 hour and walkers. However, the race was pretty disorganized so I had to line up at the pedestrian walkway in front of the open corral, because the traffic jam from all the runners was bad.
As I mentioned, the race was hilly. The start is uphill followed by a small downhill, followed by an uphill, and more uphills. The downhills did not make up for the uphills this race had. LA is pretty hilly with most hills at 15% grade, so the smaller hills here were steep. The hill at Mile 4 on the way to the Disney Theater was the worst, taking 1/2 mile at 15% uphill. I didn't walk as I've had plenty of runs through the Rickerbacker Causeway which is similar. I am still not fast on the uphills, though.
However, as soon as I crossed the start line, I noticed I was sluggish and I couldn't even run at easy pace (I now know it was a bout of severe asthma that has had me ill for this whole week). One of those days where your legs feel like cement. So, I switched my strategy from 5 hours to finish and enjoyed the ride. It went fine until Mile 16 where my ligament in the left foot started hurting. I torn a ligament 20 years ago there and it hurts from time to time. It has been hurting all week so I knew it was a bother. I walked/run the next 3-4 miles because the pain was bad. Nothing I have not experienced before but I didn't want to make it worse (of course, today it does not hurt one bit!).
We crossed Mile 20 and my foot was still huting so I took it easy. The annoying pain went away aroun Mile 22, so I started running in full. By this time the only downhills came in. The rest of the way is a 1% downhill from LA to Santa Monica with MIle 25 a flat finish. Thankfully, LOL.
I finished 29 minutes slower than I planned but considering my foot pain, it went fine. My husband was waiting at the finish line with my Maniacs jacket and a change of clothes. We went straight to Rock & Brews for burgers and green beer.
The best part of the race was the many bands they had, the crowds cheering you on, and the signs. Best sign was at the last water station, which said HURRY UP, I'M TIRED OF STANDING UP HERE! Best snack was the Jolly Ranchers at Mile 23 and the oranges at every mile. Best outfit was the Elvis crowd (two Elvis running with a cart full of beer) and the guy dressed like an Indian running and chanting for rain. Oh, and the medal is very nice with a reference to St. Patrick's.
My socks were the talk of the race. The photographers, officials and crowds) were asking me to stop to take a picture of them.
Overall, although a tough course, it was an awesome race.
And on to my ultra....
Some LOOK AT ME! pics:
Socks, as requested.