I had a hard time processing all that happened during the marathon. After I finished, I discussed it with close friends and family but for a while, I didn’t want to relive it.
A week after the race, I began to reflect on what went well and what went wrong.
Initially, I had a hard time being happy for the finish because I didn’t meet my goal time.
The race was going well in the beginning. I started off slow to save energy for the last few miles of the race. Through previous experience, it is always best to start off as slow as possible. Miles 1-6 are usually crowded so naturally, it is easier to keep a slow and steady pace.
I felt great until mile 15 when my right quadricep started cramping. It became painful to run so I slowed down my pace and did walk/run intervals to minimize the pain.
Luckily my dad was at mile 15 with coconut water and muscle relaxers. I took ibuprofen and salt pills to help ease the discomfort.
From mile 16 to mile 22, I pushed hard because I wanted to beat my previous time.
You must tell yourself that no matter how hard it is, or how hard it gets, I’m going to make it -Les Brown
I was fortunate to run with a legacy runner for the last few miles. Los Angeles legacy runners have been running the marathon since the first year it began in 1985. Every time I see a legacy runner I am automatically inspired. I am instantly reminded “if they can do it, why can’t I?” Legacy runner Craig reminded me that I needed to breathe and keep my form straight until I finished.
By repeating positive affirmations, it made the rest of the race easier to continue.
Just keep going
You can get through anything as long as you keep trying
The pain is only temporary
You are a warrior
Remember why you started this journey
At mile 23, the pain eased up and I was able to run faster.
At mile 25, my mom and aunt were there to cheer me on. I stopped and gave them a hug before I kept going.
Something came over me at the last mile and I ran as fast as I could to the finish line. Seeing the spectators lined up on Ocean Avenue cheering me on gave me the extra boost I needed.
I was so happy to have finished. Though I didn’t meet the goal I set out for, I finished 30 minutes faster than last year. I had a great time running the marathon despite the cramping.
The energy from the crowds made it an amazing race. My favorite miles were those in Chinatown, Hollywood, West Hollywood, and Downtown Santa Monica.
During the run, I remembered all my hard work during training and all that I overcame to make it to the start line. Early in the cycle, I had an asthma attack and had to go to the hospital. I fell on a run and dislocated my shoulder. As in every training cycle, I work a full-time job and take care of my family.
The victory is not in the actual finish but all that I overcame to get there. After taking some time off to reflect, I realized how far I’ve come. I started off without any knowledge of running distances or racing. Now I am running full marathons.
I know that I have a lot of work to do but with determination and dedication, I know I’ll get there.
I’m grateful for the training process. I dedicated myself to running at least 4-5 times a week. With BlacklistLA, we did weekly hill runs, tempo runs, recovery runs and long runs.
I had the honor of being a pacer with BlacklistLA and helping runners get to the finish line. Being able to help others reach their goals changed me.
Pacing taught me extremely valuable lessons. Each time I showed up to a training run I had to stay on pace. I had to be as strong as possible so that I could lead the pack.
It wasn’t about me anymore but making sure that others succeeded. Though I didn’t reach my time goal, giving back to others was much more important.
I’m looking forward to continuing to help others and pushing myself to be better.
At the end of the day it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s about who you’ve lifted up, who’ve you made better. It’s about what you’ve given back – Denzel Washington
Thank you for joining me on my third marathon journey.
I hope it has inspired and motivated you to keep pushing despite all obstacles. Stay tuned for my next few half marathons and a full marathon coming up this year.