Sunday, March 18, 2012

2012 Los Angeles Marathon - Race Recap

Date: March 18, 2012
Location: Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica Pier
Finish: 4:32:01

This year marked the 7th consecutive years I've ran the LA Marathon. It was my very first marathon and I have this crazy goal of running at least 10 consecutive years in a row. I am more than halfway there. I've ran this race year after year because it is my hometown (not my current hometown but my childhood hometown) race. It's gone through some radical changes (both owner and course wise) just like me, I've shared some very memorable experiences with family and friends on this course but most importantly I run this course year after year to remind myself that running is not just something I cross off my bucket list and forget about. It has become a big part of my life so I want to keep the streak alive for as long as I can. 

The night before the race, I laid in bed not able to fall asleep. My nerves were getting the better of me. I was concerned about so many things. Mainly that I had not trained for this race whatsoever and didn't think that I would even be able to finish the race. I was really worried. I hear the rain outside my window as I struggled to fall asleep. Hail was hitting my window pane like a million tiny metal beads. So loud. My pup was not having a hard time falling asleep and was snoring. So cute. I finally fell asleep around midnight. My alarm went off at 4am. My friend D arrived ten minutes before 5am to carpool with me to the race. We were out the door by 5am to make the drive to LA. It was raining pretty hard in Irvine when we left but by the time we got to LA, it was dry with only a couple of gloomy looking clouds still lingering in the sky.

I think we had left for the race 30 minutes earlier last year because by the time we got to the Stadium Way exit around 5:50am, it was already really jammed up. We took a detour on Fwy 2 to bypass all the traffic. When we got to the Dodger Stadium parking lot, we stayed in the car to keep warm. I left to use the potty and came back 30 minutes later. Long slow moving lines. Forty-five minutes before the start of the general field, the sun even peeked out. I was so happy to see the sun. I was still worried that it was going to rain mid race. Never happened! It was a beautiful day for running. A bit windy near the ocean but overall I could not have asked for a better day. I wore three layers of clothes and that proved to be too much. I was a bit warm the entire race but I would rather be a bit warm than freezing any day.

This is the first time I've seen food at the starting line. I was too nervous to eat anything. I didn't even eat breakfast. I had a cup of coffee and ate 3 GUs during the race and I felt fine. It's been awhile since I've ran a marathon and I felt all out of sorts.

I took this photo seconds before the elite women started the race.

It's been a long day but I survived. My ankle held out for 23 miles and I could not have asked for any more than that. I decided that I was going to stick with D as long as I could at a 10 minute/mile pace and see how I felt at mile 10. Remember that even as I stood at the starting corral, I had so much self doubt that my ankle would make it through this many miles. I wanted to run a conservative pace just to make sure that I saved enough for the end. I made a deal with myself from the get go that if and when my ankle started to bother me that I would just walk the rest of the way. Luckily, I didn't end up walking as much as I thought I would have had too. I think D and I separated somewhere after the 10 mile mark. It was at this point that I turned on my iTunes and chugged slowly along for the next 16 miles. Running this race reminded me how much I still loved running/racing even though my injury had taken me out of the running game this past month. I never thought that I would say this but I am happy with my time today. I ran this marathon with no long run training over 13 miles. I ran a couple of half marathons in January and February and then did a 10 mile ankle test run last weekend. I feel so fortunate to have finished in one piece and with a smile!

LA Marathon #7!! Done! 


Mile 1 - 10:12
Mile 2 - 9:38
Mile 3 - 9:58
Mile 4 - 9:34
Mile 5 - 11:13 Walking up that incline towards Disney Concert Hall. De-layering at this point. Warm.
Mile 6 - 10:19
Mile 7 - 10:09
Mile 8 - 9:44
Mile 9 - 10:05
Mile 10 - 17:08 Potty Break. Stood in line for 10 minutes. :(
Mile 11 - 9:39
Mile 12 - 10:12
Mile 13 - 9:38
Mile 14 - 9:33
Mile 15 - 9:35
Mile 16 - 9:50
Mile 17 - 10:42
Mile 18 - 9:24
Mile 19 - 9:42
Mile 20 - 9:38
Mile 21 - 9:53
Mile 22 - 9:41
Mile 23 - 9:51
Mile 24 - 13:10 Ankle started to bother me at this point so I walked a bit.
Mile 25 - 9:36
Mile 26 - 9:12


Monika said...

Congratulations! wow 7 years in a row is crazy! I'm so glad it didn't rain for you guys. I remember seeing blogs from last year's race which looked so awful! And 10 minutes in line for the portapotty? I need to teach you some bush squatting techniques... ;o) haha jk, maybe it was too urban where you were?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Having just done my first, I can't imagine doing another 6 in a row! And such a great time too!

Anonymous said...

we both ran our 7th LAM!! let's keep it going k?!! :))

you're awesome for having the self-confidence to stay in the race and get it done! so happy the weather was so nice. it was a perfect day for 26.2!! :) great re-cap Madison!! You did GREAT!! :))

Anonymous said...

yay! nice job lady.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on 7 years in a row! That's awesome!!