Hello? Is this thing on? Oh it is! Ok good my blog still works!Sharpie talks all about @SkechersGo @LAMarathon on his blog! #WeRunLA Click To Tweet
Sorry, it’s been so long since I have been here writing and sharing. Frankly, this year has been incredibly busy and wild. I mean we are entering April and I have been all over the place. But, I am here now so pour yourself a mug of your favorite tea and let’s chat about how great this years Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon was! But first let me remind you that the marathon is just one piece of the amazing Conqur LA Challenge.
In a nutshell, the Conqur LA Challenge is a race series challenge hosted by my very good friends at the Conqur Endurance Group. To complete this challenge, all you have to do is complete the Santa Monica Classic in September (either the 5 or 10K distances count), The Pasadena Half Marathon at the Rose Bowl in January, and of course my favorite The Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon in March. Doing so will earn you some serious bragging rights, and some even more serious bling. This year’s challenge bling was pretty sweet!
Now that we have talked about the bling, let’s talk about the marathon. It’s hard to believe this was my SIXTH Los Angeles…talk about being #LALoyal. If you’ve been following me on my social channels you know I have been spending a lot of time on trails, doing some ultra type things. I honestly had not trained for this race the way I should have. I’ve been on an anxiety and emotional rollercoaster for the past two months. Some days are awesome, others have been awful. My job has been very demanding as I have been standing up some new initiatives. No excuses, but it is the reality of what I have been dealing with. I was very honest about this and said ” Well, you don’t have the training you need so get ready for a suffer fest.” I am a big fan of being honest with yourself. THANKFULLY, doing some seriously challenging trail runs and ultras really got me back into a space where I could manage a marathon without fear.
I woke up and headed to the train station. I arrived at Union Station and took the shuttle up to Dodgers Stadium. I was laser focused this morning. I knew I wanted to really give this marathon my best. The weather was finally perfect. Low to mid 60s and sunny. BEAUTIFUL for a chance, so I wanted to take full advantage of that. I know my pitfall with any marathon (or half marathon for that matter) is my pacing and fueling strategy. Consistency was the key to success and ensuring the right amount of calories were taken in at the right time. What I’ve learned is that my body metabolizes very fast…so I need extra calories to supplement that. So I set a fuel timer on my Garmin for every 6.5 miles so I wouldn’t forget. Before the race, I spent some time with my Conqur Endurance Group ambassadors. I love this crew…like so much. Some of the hardest working and passionate race ambassadors this side of Jupiter.
After we said our “good lucks” we headed to the corral. This is where I zoned out and things got very quiet in an otherwise very loud corral. I was having a very real chat with myself. Focus on your pace and eat. Focus on your pace and eat. Don’t stress. If you go out too fast it’s a wrap for you in Century City. Before I even knew it, “We Love LA” was blaring from the speakers and we were on our way!
The first 5 miles were a challenge…but not for the reason you may think. I was going too fast…and fast felt comfortable. This worried me and freaked me out. I couldn’t slow down. I was watching my Garmin and staring that 9:15-9:30 pace in the face knowing I was going faster than I wanted. I knew if I did not force myself to slow down, my body would quit on me between 17-20 miles in. Around the 10K I found my groove and dialed into a 10:00/10:15 mile. That felt very comfortable and allowed me to cruise. No pain. No worries. No heavy breathing.
I had the best time out there. I made it to Sunset Plaza, no pain. West Hollywood, no Pain. Beverly Hills, no pain. I’m starting to sound like Roger Rabbit here…
I just continued on my journey and trusted my virtual cheer squad and how my body was feeling. I expected to feel heaviness and experience fatigue which did set in, but I made adjustments along the way in my pacing and stride to help compensate for that. I didn’t want to get to the finish line and feel like I got hit by a bus…for once. Luckily AJ and Briana were holding down the #WeRunSocial cheer/aid/inspiriation station at mile 18ish. When you need a happy friendly face and some good vibes and snacks this is the aid station you dream of. AJ and Briana KILLED it. Full of love and super helpful!
I kept on moving. Before I knew it was at mile 20…the Sepulveda climb. This is where my wheels came off last year. This year I took this hill very slowly. I wanted to get to Brentwood with some gas left in the tank. Again, no problem. I was feeling a little heavy, but nothing too awful. Sarah was volunteering at mile 24. So I wanted to get down there and say hello. That didn’t disappoint at all.
After I left Sarah (really she pushed me away and said GO FINISH YOU LOOK SO GOOD), I felt super gassed up. I was excited. The course photographer captured this moment…
I have never felt so strong or powerful. Although this wouldn’t be a PR (missed it by 10 minutes), this would be a course PR and my strongest most consistent marathon ever. THAT is something worth celebrating. I never have had the pleasure of enjoying the downhill slope to the finish line before. Normally I am walking and hating life. This year I crushed it and cruised right onto Ocean and down the hill to the finish. THRILLED. THIS was a marathon! I finished the race in 4:49:44. I could of shaved off the ten minutes if I wasn’t scared of dialing up and blowing up. I felt amazing but didn’t want to risk it. Not easy, but challenging. Certainly taught me new things and I learned that I am capable of more than I realized. That I didn’t have to settle for a baseline being my best. That focus will take you a long way. Things I “know” but when put into practice really change the game.
I love this marathon. I love everything about it. And this past marathon has been absolutely amazing. I wonder what next years race will be like. I can’t wait to find out.