So we're officially calling yesterday's L.A. Marathon 2014 the 'Hellfire Marathon' after it was the hottest race day in decade. I thought badly spraining my ankle the weekend before, or the hour lost due to daylight savings was going to be the biggest challenge on the day, but the heat was what really kicked my ass in the end forcing me to finish just over that magical four hour mark in 4:03:25.
Along the course which ran from Dodger Stadium to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica I remember focusing so much on the road, especially at water stations, mindful of discarded cups and bottles and trying not to slip and twist my ankle again.
Feeling more confident in the early stages as my ankle and pace held steady, I was swept along by the amazing support along the course, especially the uplifting cheer section around mile 6 and spotting my own friends and supporters of my T2: Team to End AIDS teammates on the sidelines. All the homemade signs, costumes, cheers and orange slices were such a boost this marathon.
The sun was fierce and beating down on all the runners and there wasn't much shade. I've run in heat before, last year's Vancouver Marathon was unseasonally hot (especially as it didn't start until 8am) and I've run in the humidity of the Honolulu Marathon, but running in 81° temperatures was just draining, demotivating and brutal.
Just the thought of seeing my husband and my Labrador Cooper along the race route always brings me to tears when I see them just before mile 15, and our reunion was even more sweeter after the Finish Line in Santa Monica.
I'm just grateful we all crossed the Finish Line safely and no one needed medical attention, like records numbers apparently did this year in the heat.
I think my official race photos will tell a different story to previous races, expect to see misery, suffering and a bit of determination on my face, and can't wake to share them with you all. Before they arrive, you can also check out this video of me crossing the Finish Line in Santa Monica (in red on the right hand side).
Yesterday now feels like a lifetime ago, but I did it. I ran my 7th marathon in total and 4th L.A. Marathon.
Now, let the countdown commence to the L.A. Marathon 2015...