I ran the 2013 LA Marathon today. I was inspired by the LA Olympics in ’84 and remember watching the marathon on TV when I was a kid. Now this course is not the same as the LA Olympic Marathon, but I thought running this race would make it just as special being in the same city.
I didn’t get the best sleep Saturday night (well actually Weds-Saturday I was sick with a minor cold as well and had some crappy nights).
I woke up at 4:09am, 1 minute before my alarm, and got dressed and everything prepared to head out the door at 4:40 to get to the shuttle to be taken to the Dodgers Stadium.
After arriving at the Stadium, I immediately got in a porta pottie line. I ended up using the bathrooms two more times before getting into my corral. While rushing to my corral, I barely squeaked in as they were closing the gate.
And we started at 7:28! Here we go!
It was congested in the beginning, making it difficult to get around people and my pace was not as fast as usual so that worried me a bit but I wasn’t too stressed.
As we climbed several gradual hills in the beginning of the race, we benefited by the downhills. These are always nice, but you still need to be careful with your speed.
I wasn’t all that impressed by the course. However there were a few spots that were pretty neat to see like the Pantages Theater, Capitol Records, Chinese Theater, Sunset Blvd, Rodeo Dr (which was almost a blur for me as I ended up focusing on a beautiful ruffled dress in a window of the BCBG/Max Azria store). We went through West Hollywood and there were lovely drag queens dressed in cheerleader outfits and then down the way there was a section of 600 cheerleaders from local schools. Pretty fun!
As I continued through the course, I wasn’t stressed about a specific goal necessarily. But early on I thought that my pace was slower than normal because of the hills we encountered, so I just accepted that I was going to come in after 4 hours but was ok with that. But as I kept a steady pace, I realized that I could run this under 4 hours, even if I did get tired and had to run it slower at 10 min miles. As I got to mile 20, I texted Clint to tell him “6 more”. He knew what this meant (get your butt to the finish if you aren’t there already!) and said “Awesome!!!” It was 10:24 when I texted him so he knew I was coming in before 4 hours.
I got kind of excited and frequently looked at my watch to check my pace and the time I had to get in before the 4 hour mark.
6 miles left, 4 miles, 2 miles…I’m home free! I kicked it up a notch. Don’t fail me now legs!
As we turned the last corner toward the Finish, I could barely see the orange arch ahead. I wasn’t sure if it was the 26 mile maker arch before the finish or the actual Finish arch. It still seemed so far away. It was a long run to that Finish line, but I sprinted it and was happy with my 3:50:18 finish!
My 3rd best time (by seconds) and came in the top 10% of all runners (2,015 out of approx 20,000). I also placed 49th out of about 1,000 in my age division.
And I got to pick up a special second medal for completing the LA/SF challenge.
Overall, it wasn’t my favorite courses as far as beautiful sights, but I’m glad I got to do it and experience it.
Oh, and Deena came in 3rd place in the women’s division. She’s 40 years old and runs a 5:49 pace. I can’t even imagine what that feels like. I’ll never know, but she’s inspiring.