Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The LA Marathon: A Diary entry

The LA Marathon had 25,000 runners. That sounds like a lot and then you actually see them. WOW. 50,000 people at the expo at one of the my most favorite places on the planet. Dodger stadium. I walked around the stadium and walked around the concourse. Right before the race some got to "warm-up" for the marathon on the outfield grass. I didnt find that out until it was too late. I have been on the grass and I dont warm-up for a really long run like this. So I passed.

The non-race stuff:
Had an issue getting a room close to the finish line. The race started at Dodger stadium and ended at Santa Monica Pier. I found a place that was cheap and close to the finish. One word Skeeve. Yeah after my wife and I left for the race my sister found a roach in my bed. We got our money back and found a new room that ended up having ants in the bathroom. 2 rooms at half-price what a deal! Spring time in California, wohoo! Traffic did not disappoint it was LA style, but the people were a buzz with the marathon. That made it fun. Found a couple trishops where my sister got a wetsuit at 40% off and I found some jerseys half off. SCORE!

The Expo:
There must have been 50,000 people there. Lots and lots of free stuff and interesting booths. Got some answers at the garmin tent finally. I may need to get the tri watch. Lots of recovery socks and new juice products. USTF was there in force. The race poster was awesome. It is the 25th anniversary of LA Marathon and I cannot wait to frame it and put it up in my house. I will pst pics later this week.

The Race:
We parked in the participants garage and walked to a bus that took us to dodger stadium. A normally 20-30 min ride turned into an hour. REALLY LA TRAFFIC? shock. What was interesting is people running on the freeway to get to the start of the race. They actually post-poned the start of the race to allow for the people to get there who were stuck in traffic. CRAZY. I loved it. It was a bit chilly yet I was warm on the bus. people walked an extra few miles yet I was sitting on the bus. I arrived with plenty of time and no stress. A good start so far.

I was through my morning routine before a long run with no issues. This is going to be a good day, I thought. No issues. My wife and I arrived at the start line and the closest we could get was the 13 min per mile corral. OK so there is A TON of people here we are going to have to weave a bit. Lets just say that bob and weave was something I did ALL DAY LONG. Interestingly enough it was LA when sean austin is a few feet in front of us. My wifes favorite movie is RUDY and she wouldnt yell RUUUUUUUDDDDDY. He ended up finishing 15 min ahead of us.

The race begins with a lap around dodger stadium. Hilly. Actually the first 8 miles were very hilly. Ups and downs. LOTS OF PEOPLE. A sea of people in front and behind. It was crazy. My wifes ankle begins to hurt at the 3 mile mark. After some encouragement and some tweaking we are back to running. Characters along the way were awesome. Elvis, marylyn monroe, blue haired guy, banana guy, cross carrying guy, mexican flag outfit, and there were a ton of kids. The LA area used the race as a way to get kids more active and there was a lot of kids who ran. That was awesome.

It was hot. 80 degrees or so. I havent had a single run here in Las Vegas where I wore shorts or a short sleeve shirt. I wasnt ready for it. I never felt a groove. Id say 15 degrees hotter than my hottest run here. I began to cramp at 13. My first big cramp at 15. Survival mode until I finished. It was crazy. I marveled at the people on the side of the road stretching, laying, throwing up, eating, drinking, peeing, etc. I had a small cramping issue on my first 20 miler but the second was no issue. I feel strong about my nourishment plan, I just dont think I was ready for the heat. I am proud I finished. It was a battle. My wife ended up pushing me like a star. She was amazing. Cardiovascularly I felt strong, My brain was intact, my training was on point, my muscles did not cooperate.

The aftermath:
I earned every bit of that medal. I wore the HELL out of my finisher shirt on monday. It took us 45 min to get out of the garage. It took us over an hour to get to the skeeve motel once we left the garage. Absolutely frustrating. Just is what it is about LA/Santa Monica.

I do not have any injuries. Am I sore as hell, yeah. Everything is sore. My neck, scapular stabilzers, lower back, hips add/abd, gluts, quads, hamstrings, calves, and especially the 5th metatarsel on my left foot. Julie is very sore and her ankle is not any worse than usual after a long run. We pieced her back together well.

I am still processing my 1st marathon. I will post more as the week goes on and I will get some pics posted ASAP.

"The difference between the mile and the marathon is the difference between burning your fingers with a match and being slowly roasted over hot coals."

LOL. Yeah 2 days of walking like I raked over the coals!


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Nice work pushing through the cramps and pain. This race deserves a "Pukie"

Morgan said...

Congrats mister!!! I can't wait to read more, get some pics and hear the final time! I've seen a few recaps so far and everyone really goes on about how great the crowd support was! Bask in that after glow and you totally earn the right to rock that shirt for as long as neccessary!

Karl Stutelberg said...

That "bob and weave" can really take a lot out of you. MOre than you realize. Something that unfortunately comes with the territory of running a "major" marathon. It sucked the life out of us at Twin Cities last year too. Smaller marathons don't have that issue but also don't have the "bells and whistles" and crowd support. Hope there were more positives than negatives looking back. All the best with the recovery. Charlottesville 10 miler in 2 weeks! Rage in one month!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

congrats on finishing your first marathon. once you finish processing it, you'll have to let us know if and when the next one will be. i hope that roach that was in your bed was already dead for a long time...yuck!

Chuck said...

Congratulations to Julie and you. Sounds like you guys really experienced all the fun that makes the LA Marathon so special! I thought the new course and crowd support was awesome!

Welcome to the marathon club!

Jon said...

congrats! looking forward to reading the extended version and seeing your time.

Anonymous said...

Congrats- I loved the report! And I really loved the quote!

Aimee (I Tri To Be Me) said...

Hooray! Congrats on your first marathon!!!

That's just crazy about the traffic and the number of people. It must have been really frustrating!!

Thomas Bussiere said...

Congrats and job well done. Looked like an awesome and memorable time. Enjoy the recovery time knowing you don't have to run and not feel guilty about it. sooooo, when will the next one be?

Sherri said...

Loved this post and I loved your quote! I am going to have to use that one!
I look forward to reading more!

Jessi McCall said...

Ron Gallagher... FULL MARATHON FINISHER!!! Nice work! I think it's awesome that you and Julie made it through together. Congrats!!!
AND, yeah, weaving SUUUUCKS!!!!