Friday- Travel day!
I took a half day from work to catch our 4:30pm flight from Minneapolis to LAX airport. Finally after getting our rental car & checking into our hotel in little Toyko at 11:30pm, we were able to get some food down the street at some place called “Mr. Pizza”. At this point, we were both tired from traveling & up way past our bed time!
Saturday- Olympic Trials
I woke up in a much better mood. We had a pretty fun day ahead of us.
7:15am- stand in the line at the expo for 45 min until it opens
8:00-9:30– LA Marathon expo & bib pickup!
9:30-1:30– watch the Olympic Trials
The Olympic Trials were amazing. Jason & I bought VIP tickets which included access to a premium seating at the start/finish line, a tent area to stay out of the sun, bathrooms, free water bottles, mimosas, a buffet for lunch and breakfast… It was pretty sweet 🙂 I definitely recommend doing this if you ever watch the trials.
That is how I got all these sweet up-close photos like this:
As the Trials went on, it became VERY clear that the heat and sun were taking a toll on many of the athletes. We must have seen 4 dozen runners drop out of the trials. I was hot and uncomfortable just standing outside. As I watched the runners, I re-assessed my goals for the LA Marathon the next day. I was reminded of how heat and sun will take it’s toll on you especially during a 26.2 mile race.
Sunday- Race day
Despite running 12 marathons/ultras before, I was still kinda nervous. It’s funny how that works 🙂
I was mentally ready for the heat. I accepted that it would be a huge factor in the race for me. I was mentally ready for a non-PR day. I was ready to “enjoy it” and give it my best effort. I was at peace with it.
4am- wake up
5:00 -walked 1 mile to Union Station
5:30am– shuttle from Union Station to Dodger field/the start
On the shuttle, I remember telling Jason,
“I will probably go out in a 1:38-1:39 then come back with a 1:48 and just sneak under 3:30“.
He was quite about his goals, so I knew that meant he was going to try for a PR.
6:30am- get in line for race
6:55 am- the start
1 Mile- 7:13
This mile was directly downhill.
2 Mile- 7:10
Again, a HUGE downhill. But I knew I needed to slow my roll
3 Mile- 7:29
I started trying to find shade on the course. I was actively trying to slow down. I was not getting passed by A LOT of people.
4 Mile- 7:36
I tried to continue to mentally tell make myself SLOW down. This is not fun- it meant getting passed by a LOT of people. This was hard for me to do because I felt really great, but I knew I needed to be smarter.
5 Mile- 7:52
There was a big uphill section here, but I felt like I was finally running around the correct pace.
I was trying to find as much shade as possible. I was dumping water on my head at every water stop as well as drinking as every water stop
6 Mile- 7:45 *Gu
After taking my gu, for the first time in the entire race, I began to feel good about the pace & comfort of my run. I felt like I was getting into the groove, but I could tell it was also getting hotter by the second.
7 Mile- 7:21
Probably a sugar rush from the Gu & the crowds for the first time in a few miles. I took a few selfies and gave a few high fives.
8 Mile- 7:24
At 8 miles I was at exactly 1 hour. 7:30 average. I felt okay with that.
9 Mile- 7:35
10 Mile- 7:17
At this point, I was starting to have thoughts like, “maybe you could still PR.. Maybe you could just go for it? What do you have to lose?”. I stopped looking at my watch and focused on keeping the pace moderately comfortable, staying in the shade, and staying hydrated.
11 Mile- 7:14
12 Mile- 7:16 * Gu
13 Mile- 7:37
Half 1:38-1:39 ish
They say you should always “re-evaluate” at half way. I decided that a PR was officially 100% out of the question. I was just going to maintain my effort and hope for the best
14 Mile= 7:37
15 Mile- 6:55 (MEGA huge downhill)
16 mile- 7:20 (downhill)
Hit 16 miles in exactly 2 hours. 8mph 7:30 pace exactly again.
17 mile – 7:55 * Gu
The Gu basically had 0 effect on how I felt. I knew the last 9 miles would be a grind.
18 Mile- 7:53
19 Mile- 7:58
At 19.5 I was completely exposed to the sun. From 14-19, I was passing a lot of people, but I was starting to feel REALLY crappy. I told myself to be grateful that I even have the ability to run 26.2 miles
20 Mile- 8:05
21 Mile- 8:34
I remember getting passed by like 20 people at once somewhere in this section. I thought my calfs were going to explode. I didn’t even feel like I was moving any more.
22 Mile – 8:23
23 Mile – 8:40
I knew my pace was slipping a lot. There were times when my watch said I was going 9:xx pace. I never like seeing that.
My Legs felt like lead, then I could feel that we were now shifting to the downhill section- the final part of the course. It was tough to get the legs turning, I tried.
24 Mile- 8:35
I set a new goal for myself to break 3:25
25 Mile- 8:01
Instead of 3:25, I wanted 3:23
26 Mile- 7:54
Last .38 miles @ 7:39 avg
87 /9,122 women
11th in the 20-24 Age Division
No matter how many marathons you finish, you are SO freaking happy when you cross that finish line. I don’t think I have ever been more talkative & grateful to the volunteers. I was almost in tears I was so happy to be DONE.
I felt like I had really accomplished something when I finished. I never once felt “great” during the race, but I never once thought about quitting. I was completely in control of the “mental demons”. I felt really refreshed knowing that I kept a positive attitude.
Once I finished, I saw our Lifetime group and Jason. The group from Minnesota we were with- Some people were over 30 min off their PRs- others had dropped out. I am going to attribute it to: HEAT, SUN & HILLS. This is not an easy course by any means, but it was also not the hardest I have done 🙂 Although it’s never fun to run 9 min off your PR (3:14), I still feel great about the race.
Since May 2013:
-13 Marathons/Ultra Marathons
(4:09, 3:47, 3:45, 3:43, 3:27, 3:31, 3:59, 3:26, 3:19, 3:20, 3:14, 3:24, 3:23)
-8 Boston Qualifying Marathon Times in 7 different states
- – 8 Different States (MN, WI, IA, MA, FL, CA, KS, NV)