Los Angeles Marathon 2017

Los Angeles Marathon 2017

My Second Full Marathon- March 19, 2017

As the days before the marathon approached, I got increasingly more nervous. Even though I ran my first full 5 months ago, it was still a crazy reality that I had to run another 26.2 miles. 

The day before the race, I was able to calm my nerves down and find peace. 

The morning of the race I woke up at 3:30am. My friend Jessica picked me up to take me to the shuttle in Santa Monica. I got on the bus at 5:00am and it only took us 30 minutes to arrive to Dodger Stadium. 

When I arrived I went to Gear Check to check my bag in. I ran into a few of my running friends and runners from my running group. Having others around helped me to stay calm.

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I couldn’t believe all the people who were coming into the stadium. Over 24,000 participants coming together to run. How epic!

Before I started, I decided to look at the race as another “long run” instead of a race.
I started running at 7:20am. Instead of starting fast, I ran at a steady pace. Average pace for my first three miles was 11 minutes and 24 seconds. I took the slow and sexy pace approach because I knew I had 26.2 miles to run. I also didn’t want to aggravate my left foot and not be able to finish. 

I also decided to run without music. To most people this sounds crazy but it ended up helping me concentrate. I focused on my breathing and said positive affirmations and prayers during the race. There were so many people the first 6 miles. It was difficult making it through the crowd at times. Even though it was packed, it was still a lot of fun.

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At mile 2 and there was live music and the spectators started cheering us on. The beginning is always fun. Everyone has energy. Seeing the 3 and 6 mile marker was a relief. By mile 6 I got into my zone.

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I was so appreciative of the beautiful route and the weather. I kept going and told myself not to drop below 13:00 minutes per mile. As I ran into Hollywood I had a surge of energy. The crowd was amazing! When I made it to mile 13 I was so happy! I was halfway done.

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I was feeling relatively well but my legs started feeling off. I felt my calves cramping on me. I was wearing compression socks so I thought they may have been restricting my blood flow. At mile 15 my left leg cramped and went numb. I stopped to the side of the road since I started to limp.

Fortunately for me, someone nearby had water, salt, and pretzels. He told me to stay there for a few minutes but I had to keep going so that I could beat my previous time. At mile 16 my step dad met up with me. I was so happy to see him. 

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After drinking coconut water that my stepfather brought me, I had no more cramps. Mile 18 approached and that’s when I hit my wall. 

I felt like I couldn’t run anymore. Everyone around me was walking. I said to myself “You didn’t come this far to walk”. I said “Even if my pace is slow, I am still going to run”. Around mile 19 I ran into fellow Movement Runners who cheered me on. I gave them the biggest hug.

I kept going and saw a Legacy Runner. He complimented my hair and we started conversing. I asked him how long had he been running this marathon. He told me that he has been running the LA marathon since before I was born. 32 years!! He told me that this marathon was his 217th. I was intrigued. He was running slow because he had a pinched nerve in his shoulder. I power walked with him for a few blocks to preserve my energy. We were at 21 miles and the last 5 seemed like the longest ever. I was exhausted and my legs felt so heavy. This felt the same for my first full marathon. I had to dig down deep inside to find my strength. 

I told Legacy Runner Craig that I really wanted to PR so I had to keep running. He said “Ok keep running”. I ran into more of my running friends at mile 23. That made me feel much better. 

I had 3 more miles left. In my mind I said “Ok, a 5k left”. I somehow caught my second wind. I could feel the finish line approaching. All of my hard work was finally going to pay off. I could see the crowd starting to line up which meant the end was near. 

When I made it to Ocean Avenue, I ran as hard as I could. I saw many spectators and tried to find my family.  I ran to the finish line. Victory!! 26.2 miles. 5 hours, 38 minutes, 28 seconds. In my home city of Los Angeles. I cried at the end as I got my medal. Another marathon. Wow. 

This race meant so much to me. My training was brutal. I had come off of only a one and a half month break from my last marathon. I started training right after Christmas. Many of the training runs were in the dark and cold. It rained a lot so I had to skip runs or run in the rain. Then I got injured one month before the race. That was so stressful! I had to stay off of my foot for 3 weeks but still cross train. 

I was forced to go to the gym ( not a gym fan) so that I could get on the bike and swim. 
I worried that I wasn’t training hard enough because others were running. Thank God my foot healed in time. On race day my knee was feeling off and I prayed that my foot wouldn’t re-injure. During the race, I had NO pain! When I crossed the finish line, I thought about all the adversity I overcame.

The finish felt so good. On top of the finish, a 52 minute PR. I learned so much from this race. You CAN do anything you put your mind to with hard work, a positive attitude, determination, and dedication. Never Quit! 

The journey will not be easy but it will be worth it. Pain is temporary but victory is forever! 

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Thank you for following me on my marathon journey. I appreciate all the love and support. More to come!!

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Getting Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Los Angeles Marathon Training Part 3

Los Angeles Marathon Training Part 3