Sunday, March 16, 2014

7th time not so lucky at the L.A. Marathon 2014...

Los Angeles can be a place of extremes, from the super-wealthy to the people who work for them, the mega-famous celebrities to the wannabe actors, and the same can also be said of the L.A. Marathon, one year you can be running in torrential rain, and the next it may be soaring temperatures that you have to combat on race day.

Racing for the Finish Line 
along Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica
Racing for LA Marathon Finish Line Santa Monica
This year it was the heat which made running the 26.2 mile Dodger Stadium to the Pacific Ocean course all the more difficult for me.

Running past the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown L.A.
Running past Walt Disney Concert Hall Downtown LA Marathon 2014
It's been a week now (but actually feels like a lifetime) and I've had some time to recover and reflect on the race and I've come to terms with my time of 4:03:25.

Running and raising money for Aids Project L.A.
Asics LA Marathon 2014 runner
By any standards that's a good time, but it's the first time in my seven marathons that I've finished over the four hour mark, plus it's my fourth and slowest L.A. Marathon time, where in the past I'd shown a ten minute or so improvement each year.

Running through the VA between mile 21 and mile 22
RunnIng through VA L.A. Marathon 2014
My charity team running coach had some words of wisdom for me though, he said the previous weekend I'd twisted my ankle and had what looked like a tennis ball sized swelling attached to it, so I was lucky to have finished, or be running at all.

Leaving the seemingly never-ending VA section
Running L.A. Marathon 2014
As you can see on the say from these official race photos, I had my ankle all strapped up for extra support, plus me runner's knee was taped to provide some stability. The heat was so intense though, that even the H20 tape had started to peel off with the sweat.

Almost defeated on the 25 mile final stretch of Ocean Avenue
Almost defeated at end LA Marathon 2014
And that's what really defeated me on race day, the sun beating down from above. In the first half of the race I was more worried about my ankle, making sure I don't slip and that I actually could run on it as I'd been off my feet for the week before the marathon.

One last push for the Finish Line
Racing for LA Marathon 2014 Finish Line
Everyone thought that the closer we'd get to the ocean, the cooler it would become, but the opposite happened. The first half of the marathon up until Beverly Hills was more overcast, whilst the latter half was out in the open, with hardly any shade and no breeze at all. It was brutal and really made me think this may be the last marathon I'd ever run.

Relief at crossing the Finish Line in Santa Monica
Crossing LA Marathon 2014 Finish Line
I usually have some reserve left for those all important last few miles, as it's always good to finish strong, but not this time. I was spent, both physically and emotionally. The photos showing everyone with their heads down and walking, really sum up how hard this marathon was (plus my salt-stained shirt is a dead giveaway too).

Crossing L.A. Marathon Finish Line in 4:03:25
Crossing L.A. Marathon 2014 Finish Line
Crossing the Finish Line in Santa Monica I was equally elated to be done, plus disappointed that I couldn't have pushed just a bit harder to make the sub-4 time, but I really was running on empty.

It's all about the finisher's medal
After L.A. Marathon 2014 Finish Line
With every marathon you have a great sense of achievement just for finishing, plus I raised over $6,620 for AIDS Project L.A. this year, and collectively my running team raised a whopping $181,000, which is not to be sniffed at.

Another L.A. Marathon complete
Asics LA Marathon 2014 Finisher
We've already named this race the 'Hellfire Marathon' and since I've already signed up to raise money and train with the same charity next year, that L.A. Marathon 2015 is going to be the 'Redemption Marathon', with lots of my fellow runners feeling the same way.

At least we won't have the hour daylight savings time change to contend with and hopefully we'll be more psychologically prepared for any adverse weather conditions.

Now let the countdown begin to my next race, the BMO Vancouver Marathon on May 4, 2014, with 3:50:26 the time to beat from last year...

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails