The LA Marathon was an incredible experience and I’m glad I was able to be part of it and experience it with my friends and family. I never intended to do the LA Marathon, I wanted to but just couldn’t register for it. So with my wife registered for the event I did plenty of training runs for it. Two days before the run a CalTri member posted that he had an injured knee and was unable to run it. He asked is any one was interested in taking the bib and running in his place. I jumped at the chance and messaged him right away. After a short drive across town I was all set to run my very first marathon.
Up to this point the most I had ever ran was 16 miles so I was a bit nervous about the 26.2 I had ahead of me. But either way I was ready for what the LA Marathon had to throw at me. Like I mentioned, my wife, family and friends were running the marathon so we had a good group of motivated people ready. The night before we had our Olive Garden dinner and discussed the next mornings logistics.
The morning came and we carpool over to the Santa Monica Pier to catch our shuttle to Dodger Stadium. Excitement was at a high as we drove down the LA freeways realizing that we were about to run all the way back through the city we all love. We checked in our gear bag and got in a last-minute stretch before making our way to the start line. Nerves hit as the line started moving closer to the start banner. I turned to everyone giving them a good luck hug. To my wife I gave her a big hug and kiss and wished her good luck.
Theres a lot of energy as you make your way out of Dodgers Stadium. As you run out the parking lot you run up a hill lined by people cheering you on. It’s easy to let this excitement throw you off of your game plan but its important to remember your training and stick to the plan. My plan was to finish with a 04h:30m time but that morning my legs felt good that I thought I could hit a sub 4 hours.
The run started off great taking it nice and calm hit my half split in under two hours so I was well on pace to meet my sub four-hour finish. At about mile 19 I started feeling the pain in my legs, they were definitely in unknown territory. I knew then that I could not keep my sub 4 pace and I needed to make the adjustments to finish in my original goal of 4:30.
I kept pushing into the 20’s passed the Veterans Hospital and down San Vicente, passed the cheering crowds pushing me to keep going even though I was clearly hitting a wall. On the 24/25 mile I was hurting, came to a stop a few time but kept trying to jog to the best of my ability. When I started the 26th mile the energy of the crowed took me to the finish line. Pain didn’t exist at that moment just victory. I crossed the finish line grabbed my medal and headed to the water station, sat down right next to the table and waited for my wife to cross the finish line herself.
I knew what pace she was running so I had an idea of what time she would finish. I saw as she crossed the finish line and ran towards her to hug her and kiss her. She is such an amazing person, at 6 months postpartum she completed her first marathon, that’s incredible.
Thank you all who wished us luck and to all the volunteers out there cheering us on and providing us nutrition. I saw a lot of friends out there and was greeted by a big support group at the finish line. Now I have a time to beat.