LA Marathon race recap

Well, let’s just call a spade a spade: I didn’t PR, not by a long shot.

Let’s start from the beginning: Saturday night Jaybeezy and I had a delicious pre-race at Chili’s.  We shared chicken fajitas like we normally do.

No margaritas for me because at this point I’m still having delusions of grandeur and PR’s.

We spent the night at our friends in Calabasas which is about 30 mins from the finish line in Santa Monica.  I layed out all my gear in advance for an early morning wake up call.

Early meant 3am.  I showered, ate a mini Clif mojo bar, had 2 cups of coffee, stretched and left around 4am.

I got to the Santa Monica parking area around 4:30 and was able to get on a shuttle right away by being smart and not waiting in the long line.  Looking back, I arrived way, way too early but was unsure about the whole shuttle business.

We got to the start at the Dodgers Stadium probably around 5am and the race was supposed to start at 7:30.  Again, way too early.  bored out of my mind.  I ate my pre-race Clif bar 45 minutes before the should have started start time.

When it was finally time to line up, I got into the sub 3 hour corral.  Why, you ask perceptively.  (Please stick around long enough to read my RACE REVIEW of this race; safe to say I wouldn’t run it again.  even with a free bib) The corral system was a joke.  and not a funny one.

There was a sub 3 hour corral, sub 4, and everyone else.  You had to get a wristband to get into those 2 corrals.  Guess who wasn’t given one when she picked up her bib?  Yep, someone hates SkinnyRunner.  So race morning I had to hunt some race official down to get a wristband and ended up getting the sub 3 one meaning it was me and about 40 elite Kenyan men runners. um, yeah.

So the race starts 22 minutes late, because I haven’t been at the Stadium long enough already, and I start off way too fast.  This was probably my first mistake.  First mile was in the 7:20s.  I slowed down and passed the 5k mark at 23:24.  I was feeling good at this point and 23 miles away from a great finish.

I hit the 10k at 47:24.  When I said LA was flat and fast, I must have been sipping the David Hasselhoff juice because flat and fast it is not.  The entire course, save for the end, was hilly.  Rolling hills, steep declines, and everything in between.

I took my first GU at mile 8, and ran the first 10 miles ahead of the 3:20 pacer and then he passed me.  I hit the half at 1:40 and even though I was really hot, I still felt ok.  I took my 2nd GU then.

It was pretty warm out, and I thought I did a good job of hydrating but looking back, maybe I didn’t.  I grabbed a water or Powerade at every station.  Near the end I was grabbing 2 or 3 cups at each station.  Someone gave me a full water bottle which I downed as well.

At about 14-15 was when the great slowdown started.  I hit a heat wall, a mental wall, a brick wall.  By 16 I wanted to quit and seriously considered it.  16-17 were hard miles.  Actually everything after 15 was.  The best way to describe it would be: I felt completely empty.  Had it been a training run, I would have quit and called it a day.  I completely struggled the rest of the race.

By 18 I went into survival mode-I didn’t care how slow I ran those miles, I was just focused on finishing and surviving.  If I had to run 10 min miles, I didn’t care.  I didn’t look at my garmin hardly at all the whole race so I don’t know how slow these miles really were, but they felt like 15 min miles.  It was the worst. Mentally harder than any other race I’ve ran.  I just wanted to quit.  or at least walk.

(I took my 3rd and final GU at mile 16, way earlier than I wanted to but I was dying and in need of some saving.  I thought they were handing out energy gels at mile 18/19, but I never saw them so I ended up only eating 3 gels and then 2 orange slices around mile 21.)

Long story long, I finished in 3:28:58, 707 overall and 91st woman.  I was hoping to be under 3:23 so I was quite a ways off.  But to put a positive spin on it, I ran today faster than I ran Phoenix, and it was flatter, faster and a lot cooler than today.  So I guess that’s improvement.

I have to say, I am really proud of myself for not quitting and not stopping.  Last week’s half marathon PR almost seemed easy, and today was simply a struggle to finish.

After the race we went to Duke’s in Malibu with our friends where I drowned my race sorrows in 2 weak mimosas, some nachos that the table shared for an appetizer, and a shrimp and crab louie salad.

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