EVENT: Los Angeles Marathon
DATE: Sunday, March 21, 2010
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
RACE BEGAN: 7:47 AM
FINISH TIME: 04:50:40
This was was important to me because is marathon #5 (3rd LA Marathon) for me, race #20 which is 13.1 or longer, and originally (see note at the end) my last race before surpassing the F 19-24 age group. So even after $125 + $9.44 processing fee, I was somewhat excited to be running from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Pier.
Unfortunately, I have been mentioning ailments as of late. Five weeks ago, both knees were hurting. One knee got better, and my quad started failing. Then the Monday before this race, I woke up feeling sick. Fortunately, though, I felt better by the weekend, and my quad even cooperated.
I was up at 3:00 AM to get to Santa Monica in time for the shuttle to Dodger Stadium. This was my first time inside. We saw Gordon Ramsey from Hell's Kitchen being interviewed... that was really cool! Anyway, we froze for a while and then stood at the start line for an hour while everything got under way...
Miles 1-3: Hilly... my left calf was hurting from standing at the start line too long, but that feeling went away.
Miles 4-7: Hello, left knee! Ouch! I saw Tea Time at mile 5 as I started walking up those never-ending hills! The downhills should have been a relief, but with a bad knee, they are no good! I took a gel...
Miles 8-10: I was still keeping 2 minutes ahead of pace in spite of my respites.
Miles 10-12: Lots of cool Hollywood scenery here. I saw Big Bird, theatres, and guys in drag.
Miles 13-15: My right leg was starting to cramp. Already. Normally, this happens after mile 20. But the combination of overcompensating for my knee and the training I missed out on during this past month began to catch up with me. This was going to be a very, very long race.
Miles 16-20: Legs were cramping just by WALKING. I took down the remainder of my gels (so I had four in total). I contemplated visiting a medical tent but was not sure if I'd get DQ'ed if I did...
Miles 20-22: Hilly. Still unable to run. I stopped a few times to stretch. The 4:30 pace group passed me. I saw a downed runner on the floor being treated by medics. Unsure if I could even finish under 5 hours at this point. Was saved by a couple of pain spray/patch booths.
Miles 23-25: On-and-off running. The course was flat by now, but my leg seized up every so often, so I had to do what I could.
Miles 25-26.2: I pretty much was somehow able to run this stretch. Very. Carefully. I don't know how I was able to go, or maybe I was very numb by then from the analgesics and caffeine kicking in. I was ecstatic that I made it but still disappointed overall.
I spent the next half an hour walking a few miles because people kept misdirecting me to the family reunion area when I was already having a very hard time walking. I was so frustrated that I pretty much cried. I finally found "The Ukrainian," who comforted me.
First of all, 4:50 is the same time I ran at LA Marathon two years ago. I've beaten this time twice at non-LA races... I wonder if there's something about this race.... lol.
Overall, I thought the sights of the course were great, and I think that had I entered this race at 100%, I could have done decently, since I don't handle rolling hills too poorly. I will consider next year's race, but the deterring price will cause me to think about it again. Also, tomorrow is the opening of the San Francisco Nike Women's Marathon lottery. Not good timing... seriously. I can't imagine running a course that will probably be at least twice as tough as this was!
Anyway, I am for once planning on not running again for about a week. I usually give it about 3 days or so, but frankly I am sick of running right now and really should try to heal myself from my stacking injuries. I've had a strained ab muscle since November that has been slowwlly hurting less, bad left knee for 5 weeks, and a questionable right quad for about 3 weeks.
I might be doing a 10K in April (Victory for Victims), assuming I feel better before then. It will be a great warm-up for my next couple of races (THIS and THIS). I guess my craziness never stops...
OH YEAH!!! If you look at the top of my page, it is pretty much my 4th year "run-i-versary." Wow, I've been running for a long time! I'm sure there will be more to come... just not this week!