Thursday, February 27, 2014

7th time lucky at the L.A. Marathon 2014...?

Excitement builds as the big day is almost here and I get ready to run my 7th marathon and 4th L.A. Marathon on Sunday March 9, 2014.

L.A. Marathon 2014 bus advertisement
We are Marathoners L.A. Marathon 2014 bus advert
On Saturday we have our last group training run of 8 miles and then it's the final countdown to race day. Just as the rain has finally come to L.A., so too have the advertisements started popping up around the city for the annual event which sees over 20,000 runners take to the streets for the 26.2 mile route from Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica.

1st Marathon - L.A. Marathon 2011
L.A. Marathon 2011 Finish Line
I still can't believe that after a few half marathon races I started training for my first marathon back in October 2010, it seems like a lifetime ago. And I certainly started my marathon career in style, running in what my fellow participants refer to as the 'Monsoon Marathon', when the heavens opened in L.A. and didn't stop for 26.2 miles.

It may not have been pleasant, but it was definitely a memorable experience and made even more so by just beating the four hour mark, with a time of 3:58:13

2nd Marathon - L.A. Marathon 2012
L.A. Marathon 2012 Finish Line
Obviously by that stage the marathon bug had well and truly bitten me and so once again, along with a few more half marathons, I signed up the for my second L.A. Marathon with T2: Team to End AIDS, with the goal to beat my time and raise more funds for AIDS Project Los Angeles.

In far more favourable weather I crossed the Finish Line in March 2012 shaving off ten minutes with a finishing time of 3:47:50. 

3rd Marathon - San Francisco Marathon 2012
Not contented to run just one marathon that year, I also signed up for two more races, the next in San Francisco at the end of July 2012. Running over the Golden Gate Bridge was certainly on my bucket list, so now that I've done that once, I'm not sure I feel the need to run that hilly marathon again. Still, I finished in under four hours again in 3:57:09.

4th Marathon - Honolulu Marathon 2012
Honolulu Marathon 2012 Finish Line
Next up at the end of the year was the Honolulu Marathon at the start of December 2012, which was quite possibly my most painful marathon with knee problems, jet lag and the humidity making it a race from hell, despite the beautiful Hawaiian setting. I was so relieved to cross that Finish Line in 3:55:06, cursing that infamous Diamond Head hill all the way.

5th Marathon - L.A. Marathon 2013
L.A. Marathon 2013 Finish Line
Glutton for punishment that I am, after that race it was straight back into training for my third L.A. Marathon. I was obviously on fire last year as I finished in a record time of 3:42:18, which I'm still slightly amazed by even now. And therein lies part of the problem, after several months of injury in late 2013 I'm going to have to run my heart out to come close to that time this year I feel.

6th Marathon - Vancouver Marathon 2013
Vancouver Marathon 2013 Finish Line
My last race of 2013 was the wonderful Vancouver Marathon in May, which was as beautiful course in a favourite city of mine. The last six miles around Stanley Park is probably the most scenic way to finish a marathon, and the best way to stay motivated in my experience. I completed that race in 3:50:26 and plan to return in May 2014 to try and better that time.

7th Marathon - L.A. Marathon 2014 (TBC)

So what will the L.A. Marathon 2014 hold I wonder? Will it truly be lucky no.7 for me? 

I always strive to improve my time each race that I repeat (you can't compare your race times when you run different courses in my opinion). I know the only pressure I'm feeling is coming from myself and it's not like I'm trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but after months of injury and physiotherapy followed by months of getting back in the metaphorical running saddle, I really hope I can better, or at least match, my previous L.A. performance.

Legs don't fail me now...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails