It has been a long weekend, I had done a hilly 100 miler on the bike on Saturday and Sunday had spent the day scuba diving and doing water safety for a tri swim clinic not to mention my step daughters birthday party! Now my alarm was beeping annoyingly at me to tell me it was Monday and time to get up to run the LA MARATHON! Needless to say I felt awful and not well rested I hit the snooze button but 5 mins later that irritating buzzing sound went off. I walked, limped into the bathroom and doused my face in ice cold water, okay awake, my friends would be here in 30mins! Funny but when I put on my Brooks running skirt and get ready I feel like wonder woman! A new “me” emerges. The marathon girl! I prepare my fuel belt with the essentials, hammergel, in one, Perpetuem in another flask and finally endurolytes in the little zipper pocket! I slip on my Brooks running shoes which are soaked in Kool n Fit! My friends Kathy and Jim Bosco are punctual 5am and we are on our way for the LA Marathon!
I have no expectations except I may quit at mile 5, I am kept entertained in the Boscos mini van with their playful banter back and forth with their two boys who are going to keep tabs on their parents first marathon as they will cycle to various checkpoints! As we arrived in down town LA we were so early there was no one around yet! A parking space was easily found and we walked the empty finish line area were the Boscos would meet their student group they would run with. It was quite a treat for me to stay in a warm hotel lobby with good toilets before the marathon. I really did not feel good and had an upset stomach and booming headache. There was 30minutes before the start so I said my byes to my friends and went in search for the sub 4 corral, as this year I had sent in a sub 4 certificate from Long beach which had qualified me for an easier day!
I take a raspberry hammergel 5 mins before the start I wash it down with water I had extra before the start I am hoping my headache will disappear!
The gun went off after the American National anthem was sang and the LA Major shared some words of wisdom. It was pretty neat starting so far in front and instead of the usual thousands of walkers/runners I usually start behind I could actually see the road and run in a straight line! The weather was definitely running weather and I perched my Rudy Glasses on my forehead as it remained overcast for much of the morning! I was keeping a 7.30 min pace I even managed to check my polar 800 monitor ever mile, every mile there was a huge banner across the road and just before the mile a water stop, by mile 3 I needed the porta pottie, and realized I had not felt good as my woman's hormones were playing a huge factor in my day! Just 23 more miles to run, I just will not stop I kept searching for the banner to indicate I had ran another mile, every 6 miles I would take endurolytes and gel at mile 18 I started on Perpetuem, I also noticed my minute miles were getting longer, at mile 20 I sprayed my legs with kool n Fit and was absorbing all the sites and sounds of the marathon! I saw one Lakers Fan bounce a basketball the whole marathon! Another person juggling!
There was runners dressed up and then serious runners who had no time to smile, or the Students of LA who had trained so hard chatting away with their friends as they covered the distance. As with any big City LA has its very nice areas, touristy areas and then there are the areas you probably would never normally be seen in where drugs and crimes are more common than seeing joggers and runners sweating it out! This year the LA Marathon was in a huge rectangle and went through different neighborhoods there were good aid stations and all I needed was water as I was pretty well self sufficient with my Hammer fuels. Even with thousands of runners I managed to meet people who I knew, I would slow down and chatter then carry on. I found by saying hi and encouraging other runners to keep running I could keep a good pace. The last 3 miles seemed forever I really had to dig deep into the pain management I thought of why I was doing this to raise money for the AVON crusade against Breast Cancer…. and lets not forget the final .2 because that is when you can see the finish line, it is ever so slightly up hill, I can hardly bend my knees and my quads feel on fire, I urgently need a bathroom and all I can think about when I can actually see the clock is breaking 3 hours 40mins… then suddenly I have a medal around my neck and a personal best of 3 hours 39 mins and 9 seconds! I am elated!
On reflection I am very surprised by the result and have to say that it probably was the result of pushing my 15month grand daughter in the baby jogger for 14 miles once a week! I take a full 2 weeks off; I do a small triathlon and then decide it is time to run again. So baby jogger Abbey and I set off for an easy 15 miles or so and we manage to run into a family of Californian Black bears… did I mention I am capable of that 5 minute mile!!!