Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Monday, March 16, 2015

LA Marathon Race Recap

Welllllll I did it. But I probably shouldn't have. It was hot hot hot yesterday.

But first things first. My alarm sounded at 4:35 am. The noise from the people next door actually had me awake a few minutes before that. It definitely was easier getting out of the hotel bed especially because of the sounds outside our room. There was commotion like EVERYBODY was going to the marathon this morning. I tried to get ready quickly so I could follow the neighbors to the shuttle buses since I had no idea where I was supposed to go.

We caught the hotel shuttle just a few feet from our hotel. The shuttle driver was a super aggressive driver and got us into Dodger stadium (4 mile drive) in about 30 minutes. I love aggressive drivers when I'm a passenger in their car. 

I got off the bus and made my way through/around the massive crowds and chaos on the stadium parking lot and finally got into the actual stadium itself to find my group. Another awesome perk about being a Road Runner is that we had the VIP access to the inside of the stadium to sit while we waited for the race to start and we had a plethora of flush toilets with NO LINES. Nice!

The group was excited but we all had those pre-race jitters, even more so because of the heat and just a little about not finishing. Our pace leaders assured us that we would finish but perhaps it wouldn't be very pretty. That was all the pep talk I needed!

After about 25 minutes, we made our way out of the stadium and down to the parking lot together to get into our corrals--gotta love it when flashing your bracelet gets you past all those velvet ropes, or in this case metal barricades. What a nightmare to have to contend with 25,000 people to get to where you need to to be!! The VIP upgrade (separate from the Road Runners package) is definitely something to consider for anyone running LA. It's just too massive of a race when you're all by your lonesome. Totally do it. 

The race started at 6:55 right on time as I Love LA blared over the sound system. That song NEVER gets old to me, we get to hear it loud and proud all the time at Dodger games since we have season tickets. I love this town for all the reasons in that cheesy song.  

Once we were off, the miles ticked by and we were keeping a 12:30-13:30 min pace. Spectator support was INCREDIBLE. there were spectators cheering every.single.step.of.the.way. From charity groups and drag cheerleaders to homies pumping jams from their lowriders. Tremendous support. LA SHOWED OUT! 

Of course I loved running past the LA landmarks. I see the Hollywood sign all the time when I'm out and about but seeing it pop up at mile 8 was so fun, like it was put there just to greet marathon runners today. That makes no sense but it did to me yesterday!

Our group tried our best to stay together as much as possible. But the heat started to pick us off one at a time starting around mile 15. I lost my BFF Gloria right around here. Porta potty lines were INSANE and we lost several of our group because of that too. 

Around mile 20 I spotted my friends who came out to cheer for me!!! I'd told my family not to come out because of the heat and the madness (and the Puff was more than happy to spend her day at the hotel pool) but these brave souls made my day! I actually cried when I saw them. I cry a lot. After they saw me they went over to the hotel to swim with the Puff and I met up with them after the race. 

Finally, around mile 22 I succumbed to having to use the porta potties. Once you go though, you end up having to go again and again...or is that just me?? I totally lost my group because of that but I found my BFF Gloria at mile 24 who I hadn't seen since mile 15! We were going to finish together after all!!! Except by now we were walking and were not trying to run anymore. The heat had beaten us. 

We finished in 6:36. about an hour slower than we had trained for. I'm ok with that. Almost 5 years ago when I first started running and started this blog I got so caught up in comparing myself to all the fast times of other bloggers and would be so frustrated with my ability and race times. Not anymore.

This time around I'm running my own races! I appreciate my body for what it can do and accept that I get out what I put in. I have a lot of work to do because I do have lofty goals to reach but I'm determined to find joy in the journey and not the destination!

And get all the joy from the post-marathon celebrations! After I got back to the hotel, I showered & changed, we pulled the kids out of the pool, checked out (late check out for marathon runners!) and BD, the Puff and I made our way over to The Apple Pan, best burgers in LA! Take it from me, I'm available to debate this with anybody who disagrees. Today I even gave myself permission NOT to share my fries with anyone. YUM!

Finally arrived home to unwind and stretch. I have invented a new way of foam rolling: I make the Puff walk up and down my legs after most of my runs! This is foam rolling at it's laziest! I think she actually enjoys hearing me yelp in pain. If you happen to have a 50lb girl handy, I highly recommend this.

Despite the heat, and the 26.2 miles, this was a great experience. The race was well done: 
Start time was 6:55 on.the.dot
Water stations at every single mile with water AND gatorade. And they never ran out. 
Fire hydrants were spraying the course with water all along the course.
LAPD was blasting music through their own speakers. Crowd support was incredible. Even us backof the packers got tremendous support all throughout the way. I never felt like I missed out on anything because I'm slow.

If I had anything negative to say it would be:
The heat. It killed. Last year's race was hot too.
Porta potties should be doubled. There were lines from beginning to end. I've never seen that in any other race.

Already the pain I felt yesterday is becoming a faded memory. I think I'm definitely probably running this one again next year.


  1. It sounds like you had a really great day out there despite the heat! When I ran Portland last year it was nice and cool in the morning, but by the time I was done it was in the 80s so I definitely feel your pain with the relentless sun/heat. One reason why I'd like to get faster at the marathon is so that I finish when it's still cooler out! :D

    The crowd support in LA looks incredible! I love all of your pics!


  2. Nice work! The heat would have killed me! I still haven't run a full yet, maybe this year :)

  3. I have read a lot about how bad the heat was, glad you made it through!!
    The course looks awesome, and the crowd support is crazy!