Monday, March 22, 2010

What a day!

So the day many of us had been anxiously awaiting for months has now come and gone... March 21, 2010 the 25th Anniversary of the LA Marathon. My day started with my alarm going off at 3:30 am, I geared up and headed out the door to pick up Sue Baker at Balboa at 4:30am. When we were nearing our exit in Santa Monica we got a taste of the chaos that we were expecting prior to the race.

For months the new Stadium to the Sea course had been promoted, all of us veteran runners were anticipating madness because even though this was the 25th LA Marathon we knew to expect the kinks that usually happen with all first time races. So I took a detour and got to my pre-purchased parking lot location. We found some empty porta potties and then boarded the 5:24 shuttle. I was so happy to think we were on schedule...and then we got stuck on the 110 freeway! We sat on the freeway stuck in typical LA traffic for a good 45 minutes. At one point, the lights in our shuttle turned off and I thought oh the bus driver must be turning of the lights so we can nap like they do on the flyaway... um negative... one of our fellow males runners had to pee so he peed into a bottle at the front of the bus! Many of the women were jealous because obviously we don't have the ease that men do of simply peeing into a bottle. All I kept thinking was thank God I had the sense to use the empty porta potties before boarding.

I found out later yesterday that apparently there had been an accident on the 110. Many of the marathon shuttles were stuck with who knows how many runners on board! As we got closer to the stadium, we saw the mass exodus of runners abandoning cars and shuttles and racing to the stadium. I thought about it but didn't feel like adding extra mileage (and potentially hilly extra mileage) to my day. At some point, we figured out the race start had been delayed so Sue and I found our fellow LA Racers in the nick of time :) I wanted to wish my TNT teammates luck in person but I had to settle for texting them good luck because there was no way for me to reach them in the crowd. I also had the pleasant surprise of running into Joe Egan and his friend Josh at the start! I haven't seen my BFF Joe in probably over a year.

So in typical LA fashion the marathon itself started late. And we were finally off. I was not prepared for the hills or humidity! The body glide wore off fairly quickly so good thing I had packed some vaseline. TMI, I know, but it's the reality of marathoning. Oh and here's a tip for all the newbies out there... don't forget your sunscreen I have some really ridiculous tan lines today courtesy of my 2009 Nike Women's Marathon Tiffany's necklace and the ktape on my knees. I was hoping I was just dirty but this time it was actually a tan :( or burn I should say... at least I'll now have a base tan into the season so I should be pretty tan (for me) come June 6th for the San Diego Marathon! I hope that doesn't clash with my TNT plaid skirt :)

I'm not sure why but this was by far my toughest race. I've heard many friends comment that as well. Of course, there are a few that PR'd (Personal Record)... congrats Natalia & Raul! I walked a lot and had hoped to run the last 6 miles but it ended up being more like the last 2 miles. The timing chip on my bib didn't work so this will be my PW (Personal Worst) on record. Although, nothing beats the disaster of 2008 aka the Honolulu Marathon (my second full marathon). I might have come in under 7 hours if I hadn't stopped to use a real bathroom. Karen Cooksey, fellow LA RACER, was gracious enough to let me use her bathroom since she was right off the course. So much for not adding extra mileage or time. Oh well, I guess it was too much to ask to complete 4 marathons without stopping for a bathroom break.

Along with running/walking past so many landmarks of the city it was great to be surrounded by Legacy Runners (they have run every single LA Marathon). There are over 200 of them and I personally know one of them. I was happy to see Alan who I met last year but I was unable to catch up to him. He's an adorable older gentleman (legacy runner) who decided to race Jassmine and I last year. What ends up happening during races is that some of us will pass each other back and forth depending on our intervals or breaks or endurance during the race. Sadly this year, I didn't see many friends on the course because I was too slow. Last year, I saw Wayne Fong (legacy runner for both Long Beach & LA) , Dr. Conklin, Alan Cloninger & Janet Comer on the course. Although, I did see Susie Comi and Marcie Joseph briefly.

It was great seeing personal cheerleaders along the course! Many thanks go out to Bucket, Erica, Bridget, Tyson, Christy, Karen, Serene, Liz, Esme, Esther, Niki, Xochilt, DeeDee, Tia Emi & Julio, and of course my Mom & Dad (although my Dad was cranky it took me so long)! I hope I didn't forget anyone. And to everyone that texted and sent me Facebook messages many thanks to all of you as well! It helped me not feel alone along the way xoxo

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