Here I am! Back in the saddle. I decided to take the week off of running and blogging after the Skechers Performance Los Angeles Marathon on Valentine’s Day. I really just needed a break. But more on all that later. Let’s talk about how AMAZING the Los Angeles Marathon weekend was! The weekend kicked off on Saturday with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials. This would determine who would be representing team USA at the Olympics this summer in Rio! I am not going to go into a deep recap about that because Carlee McDot who hung out with me all weekend and co-hosted the #WeRunSocial meet up with me did a GREAT job recapping (as she normally does). So pop over to her blog and see what she had to say! I’ll give you a hint, it was LIT!Stadium to the Sea with @SharpEndurance! The @LAMarathon Recap. #UniteLA Click To Tweet
Race morning was fun. I picked up my friend Jess and we drove to Santa Monica. We took the lovely shuttles to the start line at Dodger Stadium. I found Carlee and we met up with other Los Angeles Marathon ambassadors in the VIP pre-race tent. We sat. We chatted. We woke up. We got ready to handle business. Before we knew it we were headed to the corrals. I started with the 4:30 pacer. This was my fourth time running Stadium to the Sea so I am pretty familiar with the terrain of this course. It’s hilly. So you have to play it easy so you don’t burn out.
The race started and off we went. Out of Dodger Stadium on our 26.2 mile journey to the Santa Monica Pier. So sad that running to Santa Monica is faster than driving in Los Angeles. But I digress.
What I Experienced
I always feel confident on this course. It’s home. So I know how to manage my way up and around the bend. This race felt no different. I was feeling strong and the benefits of those treadmill training runs and yoga. I felt STRONG. Stronger than I likely have ever felt during a marathon. Mentally, it was all about just getting the Santa Monica in one piece. I wanted to finish strong and confident. This was my baseline for Boston, so the stakes were high.
When I came around the corner at mile 4 I found my friend Gillian spectating the race and she had the BEST BEYONCE FORMATION CHEER STATION ON THE PLANET! So, of course I stopped and stanned out. Because it’s completely normal and appropriate to get in Formation. Beyonce said so. Literally the highlight of the race for me.
After I left the Formation party, I climbed to the Music Center (arguably the biggest hill on course) and ran past one of my favorite landmarks on course, the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
After this I pretty much locked into a pace and glided through. I slowed down on climbs and didn’t bomb downhills. I wanted to save my legs. This race has eaten me for breakfast before, NOT TODAY LOS ANGELES!
I’ll be honest, I felt good. The last marathon I ran was NYC (Good luck if you entered the lottery), so I went back in my head and tried to compare how I was feeling. From what I remembered it felt about the same. My body was starting to fatigue at mile 18 (same place it started to tire in New York and typically where I get tired on this course). Then it happened.
Around mile 21 I knew my body was toast. My quads were really tight. Not a disaster, but I knew I couldn’t keep the pace I wanted for the last 5 miles of the race. This was mildly heartbreaking yet encouraging. I had keep a strong pace up until this point. The training was working. I kept moving forward and slowed down as to not cause an injury. More leg days are certainly in my future. Cardio wise, my lungs were right on track so that was great. I jogged my way to Santa Monica with a smile on my face. All through Brentwood, I couldn’t stop smiling. I was going to best my course time, and I knew what I needed to do going forward. I was celebrating! I was thrilled. Disappointed slightly, but that subsided very quickly. I ended up finishing with a time of 4:56. Sub 5 finally on this course! Never after a marathon have I crossed the finish line and had to immediately sit down. I didn’t even have my medal yet. My butt was on the pavement. I needed to breathe and just sit. I was in a haze. After 5 minutes I stood up got my BEAUTIFUL medal and snacks and went to my truck and went home.
Wrapping It Up
This is still my favorite marathon of all time. It’s a wonderful tour of the city that I love. And I hope you all decide to join us for the Conqur LA Challenge next year! I was honored to be the Ambassador Team Captain for this race this year, and I HOPE I am asked back for 2017. I love the ambassadors and they all did such an amazing job! Also, thank you to the Conqur Endurance Group for hosting yet another magnificent Los Angeles Marathon. I am in good shape for Boston. I’ll keep the focus and moving forward. Goals matter. I am capable. And so I shall. I felt good. I was happy. It could of been better, but it certainly wasn’t a failure. On to the next one. One foot in front of the other. Happy.