Last week I ran the LA Marathon. After a restless night of sleep, I woke up at 4 AM (which was really like 3 AM with the time change) and did my usual routine. Mike dropped me off in front of City Hall in Santa Monica for the shuttle to Dodger Stadium. Since this is a point to point course, the marathon offered free shuttles from Santa Monica to Dodgers stadium. I signed up for the 5:30 AM shuttle and got to the shuttles around 5:10 and I didn’t have to wait at all.
I had plenty of time to kill once I got to the stadium. Thankfully, the stadium was open because that meant real bathrooms! I figured I would have a lot of time waiting once I actually got there so I brought a magazine with me to pass the time.I ended up killing a little too much time because suddenly it was almost time to get in the corral (the seeded corrals closed at 7) and I still had to go to the bathroom. The lines were super long by this point but then I lucked out and found a bathroom with practically no line and made it in to the corral just in time. My only complaint about this entire race is that I think there should have been port-o-potties in the corrals. The race didn’t start until 7:25, so it was hard to get in to the corrals at 7 and then not be able to go to the bathroom. I ended having to pee the entire race. (Yes there were port-o-potties all along the course, so I could have stopped along the way).
My training for this race did not goes as planned. I barely trained for it. I did get a few long runs in the weeks before the race but not nearly enough and I didn’t have time to taper. Due to my training, I had no time goals whatsoever. I was so happy about the fact that I was even running the race that I told myself I would just enjoy every minute of it. My “just enjoy it” strategy really worked. This was by far the most enjoyable marathon I’ve ever run. I was just happy to be there and wasn’t constantly checking my garmin or worrying about my time.
I knew the first 6 miles were the hillier miles but they weren’t quite as bad as I was expecting. I was a little concerned about the hills because they aggravate my knee, but it ended up being fine. There was a big hill (I think around mile 4) and when I made it up that I felt so excited.
The course was amazing! There were lots of fun sights and tons of crowd support and entertainment. I started losing track of the miles around miles 8 or 9. I would look up and think I was approaching mile 9 and instead I was already at mile 10.
I was having a great time until about mile 19. By this point it was getting pretty hot. I think it ended up being in the 80s. I’ve been running in warmer temperatures for a while now though so I wasn’t too bothered by the heat. But it was forcing me to drink a lot, which didn’t help the peeing situation. I really should have just stopped to go to the bathroom, but the the farther along I went I just kept telling myself there was no point in stopping now. As I got closer to the end, I was scared that if I stopped moving I wouldn’t be able to start running again.
I really started to lose it around mile 21. I walked up a hill and then started walking through water stations. I was taking a full cup of gatorade and water at every water station. I knew the last two miles were downhill (the gentle kind of downhill) and that kept me going. But I was so dead by this point though that I honestly felt like I was running uphill. My quads were burning and I was hot and thirsty. I continued walking through aid stations and I was so happy when I looked up and saw I was at 4th street. That meant three more streets until I turned on to Ocean Ave where the finish line was. I run along Ocean all the time and yet this seemed like the longest stretch ever. My family was at the finish line cheering me on, but I didn’t hear them. I did see Michael though.
I was so happy when I crossed the finish line. I immediately drank an entire bottle of water and also grabbed a cool towel to cool down with.
Then I went and met up with my family and I hobbled back to our apartment.
It was a beautiful day so we decided to go the beach after. The water was freezing and so it was the perfect way to ice my legs after the race. My stomach is always uneasy after a marathon but I snacked in the afternoon and had some chocolate milk (my fave!). By dinner time I was ready for some pizza, which was perfect.
Overall, I absolutely loved the LA Marathon. I think this was my favorite marathon so far. I know everyone has a different experience, but I thought it was a super well organized event. I loved the course and loved running towards the ocean. I thought the volunteers and crowd were amazing. I want to run this race year after year.