Crazy to think that just over 24 hours ago I was crossing the LA Marathon finish line. Race day flew by, even though it sure didn't feel like that while I was in the middle of it. I've never done much on Valentine's Day but I must say that this was one of my most memorable valentines. So I thought I'd share some LA Marathon tips and takeaways.
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Every race is like déjà vu. I sign up because it seems like a good idea at the time (or because I want some extra medal), then three months later I realize race day is less than two months away and I scramble to pick up my mileage. The week before I cry a river and during the first half of the marathon I cry a mental river. But then during the last 10k of the race I'm surfing a huge wave of runner's high thinking about how frickin' amazing everything is: the other runners, the volunteers, my body still being in one piece and life in general. It's seriously such a trip. If I hadn't already made a deal with myself that the LA Marathon would be my final full marathon, I would've signed up for another one by now.
Why am I retiring after five full marathons? For two reasons: I'm setting new fitness goals that marathon running won't achieve and I want to start focusing on speed for half marathons. And sadly, I don't have the amount of time that I did in undergrad to devote to training. It also seemed appropriate to end my marathon streak after the LA Marathon since I've pretty much always done San Francisco races. It's been a great 6 years of running and I have no intention of quitting. I've just changed my goals, but I'll post more about that in a future update.
Overall, the LA Marathon was a combo of bittersweet and amazing. Oddly enough I was hitting a wall around mile 10 but from mile 17 and on I was really enjoying myself. The last mile I paced 8.5 minutes per mile and couldn't wipe the smile off of my face.. Despite completing barely 38% of my training mileage I finished at 4:46:33, which is one of my worst times, but decent given the circumstances. So if you're looking to get into a relationship with the streets of Los Angeles, a few LA Marathon tips..
- Start training earlier and ease into it. That way if you miss runs here and there you don't feel as bad. And if you really have to pick and choose which runs to do, make sure you get your long runs in.
- Make sure you prep for race day a few days before so you're not up until 11PM making a playlist and picking your outfit.
- Don't do anything differently on race day. If you don't normally eat or drink during certain miles, don't feel like you have to just because it's there.
- If you need to use the bathroom during the race, try to wait later in the race otherwise you'll waste minutes waiting in line. The bathroom lines are pretty long for the first 5 miles or so.
- Run in the middle of the road if possible. The left and right sides of the road tend to slant so your legs are hitting the pavement unevenly and you'll def start to feel it.
- Finally, don’t forget to have fun! Take pictures, use Snapchat to document the various emotions you’ll go through and most importantly, smile 😃 (cause you never know where the race photographers are gonna be!)