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