Los Angeles Marathon Recap

What a weekend! From being in a commercial, to working the US Olympic Team Trials, to the running of my first Los Angeles Marathon, I had a very exciting and eventful weekend. With all that happened, it is time to take a step back and reflect on the weekend that was.

photo: @blingwhore

I finished Sunday’s race in a time of 3:57:27 and while not a personal best, I am very happy with the mark. I went into the race with a few goals in mind but with unseasonably hot temperatures in the forecast there was no reason to go out and try to prove something on this day.

I was once told, “don’t sign up for your next marathon until you have forgotten your last marathon.” After cheering the LA Marathon in 2015 I thought I would like to run it one day but coming off a disappointing race at the Phoenix Marathon a couple of weeks earlier, I was in no hurry to make that commitment.

Having not run much the second half of 2015 I felt like it was time to get back in the groove. I started training for LAM before I had signed up but I was not ready to commit. In fact, it was not until the final day to be placed in a corral that I finally pulled the trigger but even then I was not fully committed to running the race.

As I continued to train I started to feel better about my decision and by the time Sunday was here, I was glad I had signed up.

My training was great! I really slowed down on my long runs and was very consistent in my workouts. I  even logged my highest mileage month of 201 in January. I was headed into my fourth marathon on a good note.

Despite my training I was again reminded just how difficult the marathon is and around mile 21 or 22 I found the heat to be an issue. For the most part there was plenty of shade along the course but for a couple of miles late there was no relief from the direct sun so I made the decision to back off my pace and make sure I made it to the finish line with a smile. Mother nature helped out by keeping the marine layer over Santa Monica the final two miles and it was the cooler weather which allowed me to push through to the finish line even though I was ready to be done running.

IMG_4455I cannot understate the value of having friends or family along the course to cheer you on. Just knowing that there were friends at mile 12 and the #WeRunSocial crew was waiting at mile 18 made all the difference in the world. There is just something about that friendly smile and encouraging word which gives one the strength to keep moving.

Now it is time to start focusing on the half again. I have a personal record of 1:40 and I would like to lower that time this year.  I am sure I will run another marathon but I am in no hurry.

Oh yeah, and I got victory kiss even though I did not win the race.

Runner’s World video clip



Going for Broke

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If you have been paying any attention to my social media outlets you no doubt know by now that next weekend’s Rock ‘n Roll San Diego is more than just a race. Next weekend is going to be my first attempt at running a full marathon.

Tomorrow’s scheduled 12-mile run will bring my 10th week of training to a close. I am using the Nike+ coach app and have liked its simple layout thus far and would recommend it to anyone looking to follow a training plan. Full disclosure, I have never followed any training plan so I have no idea how it compares to other products on the market. Sorry.

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This training has been one of personal growth for me. I can honestly say that I am not sure I have ever followed through on something so diligently as I have with my training. Because I have run so many half marathons during the past 10 weeks, I have not always followed the app to a “T” but I have met the weekly mileage each week.

I have taken a few of things away from my training that I would like to share.

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First, running stops being enjoyable after mile 16. It is not that I hit “the wall” at 16, rather that is when I start wishing everything in my body would go numb so it would stop hurting. I can honestly say, I am almost certain my legs continue to move out of habit at this point because my brain has shut down communication with that part of my body.

Secondly, my longest run of the program, 22 miles, proved to me that I can, without a doubt, finish a full marathon. Do not get me wrong here, 26.2 miles will not come easy for me but after my 22 mile run, I still felt like I had gas in the tank. This might be my biggest mental takeaway from the training.

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Thirdly, I enlisted an mentor to keep me accountable to my goal in RunEMZ. There have been PLENTY of days I have had zero desire to get out and run but knowing that I would be letting someone else down if I skipped a workout because, “I just did not feel like it” keep me honest.

So what is my goal? Obviously, finishing is my number one goal and plenty of people have told me to just let that be my goal for my first time out. But I am not wired like that. Remember when I said after mile 16 running ceases to be fun? Well in a similar fashion, I do not want to be running longer than four hours so my goal is to cross that finish line in less time than that.

Do I think my goal is realistic? Absolutely! Truth be told, if I were really setting this up as a goal by the rules I would set my goal time in the 3:40 range because that scares the crap out of me. I feel like anything under four hours is the easiest goal I can make and still be happy about.

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So there you have it. It is out for the world to see so there is no backing down now. There is nothing I can do at this point to change what is going to happen. At this point I have to “trust the training.”