Turns out training for a marathon is, like, hard work, and stuff… Well, I already knew that but I didn’t remember the toll it took on my free time! Wowza!
I meant to do one post a week leading up to it about the importance of X, Y, and Z and then I just went into taper madness and pasta comas and died a little inside.
Honestly I think it’s harder to eat pasta 3X a day for 3 days than it is to run 20 miles a few times in preparation for a 26.2. It’s just so.. much… pasta! I swore it off that week and wouldn’t you know the next week I had cravings for the stuff? I think I’m hooked you guys!
Let’s recap last years marathon first… My first 26.2 in 2016 was -terrible-. I had over trained. I had suffered severe bronchitis during training. I developed tendinitis in my knee. And my dumb ass drank too much water and not enough electrolytes during that event. Hey, hyponatremia, how you doin’? Symptoms include: “Confusion, nausea, and vomiting.” Yeah so up to mile 16 I felt awwwesssomeee and then around 20 I felt weird… around 24 I didn’t really know what I was doing but my knee in extreme pain and I just wanted to get to help… So I walked in… It was awful. The EMT gave my electrolyte tabs as I tried to keep from blacking out. WHOOPS! I said “NEVER AGAIN! THIS IS A FOOLS SPORT!”
So let’s review the 2017 LA Marathon right fast : )
This year’s training that I touched on in the blog was a little more spotty. Not for a lack of trying, but I simply wanted to listen to my body more often and not hurt myself. I think I made the right choice! I felt prepared and rested by race morning which I had not the year before.
The course was the same and having known that the first 6 were the more hilly of the route it made it easier to watch my pace planning unfold. 3 miles went by – easy. 6 went by – easy! At mile 11ish I saw my friends Arvin and Kate on the course with their new adorable baby. The only problem there was I knew where they would be, but I forgot how small the building is and I kept thinking it was only a block away… for about 12 blocks… But it was so awesome to see friends on the course, something I hadn’t had the privilege of experiencing yet! Mile 16 – Some hot spots on my feet but really feeling great! Mile 18 – I just… hate this part of the course… It’s closer to mile 17-20 but ugh. There’s not as much shade and you’re more or less running on a giant street but the spectators spill out onto the path a bit too much and the clean up of products isn’t so great. I slipped a little on an apple sauce packet which isn’t exactly awesome. Also around this point I started to get a cramp in my foot. I don’t like salty stuff so I didn’t have a salt tab. In fact other than side stitch this was really my first ever running cramp. Shit. I kept going, switching to Gatorade fearing the dreaded hyponatremia!! Mile 20 I started to feel the cramp more so i stretched. Felt good, kept going. 22 awesome. 24 cramp came back this time with a vengeance. I felt like the Wicked Witch of the East after her shoes were nabbed. Run run – stretch- run run- stretch. It was getting more frustrating than anything as I saw my sub 5 time start to draw out. I’m at mile 25.5 and I see the finish. Cramping getting worse. Folks telling me “You got this!”. Run run – stretch – run -stretch- ru- stretch-!!! I’m about 400 meters away from the finish. I’m in the runners only area watching the clock mock me as I try to stretch. WHY?! People saying “Don’t give up! You can make it!”. Well, yeah folks, but come on! You try doing this!
Overall I finished 1 hour 40 minutes faster than my last year. That’s a hell of an improvement if I might say so. Little bummed that I lost my sub 5 goal by 11 minutes due to the cramping, but it’s okay! Next time, right?!**
Overall I’d say this years race was far more enjoyable than the last. I’m on the fence about running LA again because it’s rather hilly and I feel like I might be bored of it next year. The expo was much smaller this year but I breezed through it. I might consider paying extra for race day bib pick up next time just to skip the expo, but that would depend on the other perks as well.
I REALLY hate miles 17-20, and the hills at the beginning are really brutal and time consuming
Course Support : 8.5
While I had plenty of support for my pace my slower friends had support pulled prior to the listed cut off time. Also docking points because handing out apple sauce packets with hard plastic tops on them is a hazard on course.
Terrible layout in the official merch booth had me run right through it. Super small expo missing vendors that I loved years past, crowded at 3PM on a Friday.
I was worried it was going to be ugly but I really loved the design this year
*I also got the Conquer LA challenge medal which is kind of ugly and monstrous…
It’s a tech shirt. It was okay.
Post Race Party: 0
The beer was great! BUT! To get to the beer the runner’s only area dumped into a wall of family waiting to meet runners. I had people pushing me, blowing air horns in my ears, etc. Made a really proud finish turn into utter frustration super quick.
** Next Time here refers to the fact that I signed up for several more marathons that are not LA. The next one being in 3 weeks… HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHA!