Friday, March 23, 2018

Los Angeles Marathon Recap

The hubby and I ran the Los Angeles Marathon last weekend (due to our three week road trip my recap has been delayed a bit… #SorryNotSorry). This was my third year running this race (and the hubby’s first). As always, it is a 26.2 mile party from Dodger Stadium to the Santa Monica beach (hence the hashtag #StadiumToSea), but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The race was Sunday, so we drove up Saturday morning. (LA is about 85 miles north of Oceanside and since you have to go to the Expo for your bib it makes sense for us to stay in a hotel rather than driving back and forth. I stay in Culver City because it's cheaper than Santa Monica and only takes 15 minutes to get to the finish line parking lots on race morning.)

The game plan was to get to the Expo by 11:30am so I could get in line to meet Meb (since he is sponsored by Skechers and they're the title sponsor they had him at their booth taking pictures and signing autographs), but the best laid plans… Unfortunately there was traffic (like always) and a LA Kings game was at the Staples Center which delayed us getting to the Expo till closer to 12:30pm. The #WeRunSocial crew was having a meet-up at 1pm, so the hubby and I grabbed our bibs, said hi to some friends and then made our way over to the PRO Compression booth for the shin-dig.

Love all of the photo ops around the Expo!

It was great having so many people stop by to say HI! I totally understand how difficult meet-ups can be at an Expo because people tend to go at different times, but it was great getting to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.

Look at that crew! 

Afterwards the hubby and I made our way over to Prime Pizza for some carb-loading. (The hubby LOVES the Vice TV show - The Pizza Show - and so whenever we are in an area that has been featured on the show he requests we visit the restaurants.) We smashed a Grandma’s Pie and it was DELISH!


There happened to be a movie theater about two blocks from our hotel that worked with our MoviePasses, so we went and saw 7 Days in Entebbe (FYI: At the end of the month I review all the movies the hubby and I see in case you are interested in our thoughts. If you care, make sure you check back at the end of the week for March’s movies.).

I’m not sure if any of you are into March Madness, but you should know by now that I bleed Maize and Blue so because the Wolverines were hoopin’ it up the hubby and I had to stay up to watch the game. Normally I would “try” to be in bed early the night before a marathon, but we had to stay up to cheer on our boys! And cheer them on we did - a buzzer beating three to win the game and move on to the Sweet Sixteen. BOOM!

OUCH! The things we do for running...

Thankfully I made sure to lay out all of my gear before bed so I wouldn’t forget anything come the EARLY wake-up call.

With St. Patrick's Day being the day before, I decided to go a little leprechaun-ish for my race day outfit ;)
Kelly Green PRO Compression socks, yellow Handful bra, green Sparkle Athletic skirt, tank from GracedByGrit,
white and black QALO silicone wedding bands, green and yellow Momentum Jewelry wraps, black RoadIDNathan handheld,
PROBAR BOLT chews, Rainbow hat (I made), my Garmin Fenix 5S, and Brooks Ghost 10 (with lightning bolt Shwings).

I had pre-paid for parking near the finish line ahead of time so I just routed us to the lot and got the hubby and I there with plenty of time to spare. (I love that the Los Angeles Marathon works with the city of Santa Monica to offer this. It is so convenient, not to mention $10 vs. $25 the morning of.) We signed up for the 4:00am shuttle slot so hung out in the car for a few before walking over to the buses. PS I don’t know if you read my recap from last year but there was a BIG cluster with the shuttles (I think I had to wait for over 30 minutes), but this year it was easy breezy. The hubby and I were directed onto a bus within 30 seconds of walking up to the line.

Shuttle selfie

Since LA is a point-to-point race (meaning it starts 26.2 miles away from the finish, instead of having the start and finish near each other) runners either need to shuttle or be dropped off at Dodger Stadium on race morning. I've always opted for the shuttles, but I do have friends who have Uber or loved ones drop them off. Either way, you have to get to Dodger Stadium before the butt-crack of dawn. I think we rolled off of the bus around 5am (and the race didn’t start till 6:55am). It can be rough, but I prefer to be early and wait rather than rushing. Dodger Stadium is open for the runners to hang out in while waiting for go time. The hubby and I went to the bathroom as soon as we got there (yay for flushing toilets) and then found a wall to sit by. Once it got closer to 6am we got in the potty line one last time before heading to the corrals.

It's not Comerica Park, but it'll have to do ;)

I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned it yet, but the super sweet folks at Conqur Endurance Group (the management company behind races like the Santa Monica Classic, the Pasadena Half and the Los Angeles Marathon) offered the hubby and I both bibs for the race. They are ROCKSTARS that I have been honored to work with in the past and was floored when they offered to comp us entries {FYI: This does NOT effect my recap - you know I’ve always gotta #KeepItReal}. The hubby and I are using a 50 miler training plan for our Rim2Rim2Rim training and it had a 50K scheduled for the day of LA so the race worked out PERFECTLY (we figured with the walk to the shuttle before the race, to the car after the race, etc that we’d get in a few more miles so it’d be close to 31 miles when all was said and done).


Anywho, back to the race. I had submitted a previous finish time that got me into the B corral, but since this was only the hubby’s second full (and he is a tad slower than me) he was in C. Well, if the hubby is willing to run, then I am willing to run his pace with him, so that meant I moved back to C. The corrals close a few minutes before the race is set to begin, so we made sure to get over there with a few minutes to spare to make sure we didn’t have any issues.

We may have grown up in the tundra that is Michigan, but we've been in SoCal for 12 years and our blood has thinned!

Before we knew it Rudy was counting down and sending us out on the streets of Los Angeles. {I've missed hearing Rudy!}

Ready to run (and hopefully warm up a bit)

The first couple miles are pretty downhill out of Dodger Stadium. This can be nice because it helps you get moving while you are still waking up, but it can be dangerous because you start out much faster than you should.


Well, the faster speeds (along with an assortment of other variables) led to some unfortunate stomach issues for the hubby. Like at a couple points he had to lay down on the ground because his stomach was cramping so bad.

I was trying to keep it light and fun (stomach issues are never any fun, but especially not that early in a race), reminding him that we would get to the finish when we got there and not to stress, but it didn’t seem to help. I guess the positive was the slower pace and frequent walk breaks allowed for more photo ops.

Chinatown is so fun!

The WRS "thingamajig" covered Ryan's painful face

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is such a fun building

I LOVE street art!

It turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day! I don't think we could have ordered a more perfect race day. 

Sometimes you can find wisdom where you'd least expect it.

The hubby and I are both vegetarian, so we didn’t partake in the “super sloppy chili dogs”, but I still appreciate that they are out there (around Mile 5.5). I doubt they would have helped the hubby’s tummy troubles, but they probably wouldn’t have made them any worse ;)

It's always surprising to see how many people are stopping to partake in the hot dogs so early in the race

Thankfully around Mile 6 the hubby’s stomach started feeling a little better (of course that’s about the time the first medical tent also appeared). He was still not 100%, but at least he was able to do some jogging without severe pain. We took it as slow and easy as he needed to - trying our best to listen to his body and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Stretching at Echo Park

Can you tell Ryan loves elevated pigeon?! 

I’ve gotta say, since I’ve been running it, this was definitely the best weather we’ve had. I won’t lie, I was chilly at the start (I had a throw away long sleeve, mittens and throw away sleeves), but we weren’t melting from the heat like we have been in years past, and for that I am thankful to Mother Nature!

If you’ve read any of my previous race recaps for the LA {2015 Spectating Recap / 2016 Recap / 2017 Recap}, then you know this is legit a PAR-TAY for 26.2 miles. LA gets the wrap for being stuck-up and pretentious, but the city loves this race. So many people come out to cheer on the runners, hand out goodies (I swear there has got to be thousands of pounds of oranges and bananas being handed out by spectators to complete strangers), give out high fives, shake cow bells, refill water bottles, you name it - they’re there for us! I am always astonished at how welcoming the city is. It’s like every neighborhood comes out and their support means the world to us runners! THANK YOU KIND CITIZENS OF LA!

You know I love me some "character" stops! 

The running community is AMAZEBALLS! I love seeing so many friends (both new and old) along the course. Thanks to everyone who made a point to say hi, to cheer us on, to snap a picture, etc. You all ROCK MY SOCKS! The hubby and I made sure to stop by the #WeRunSocial cheer station around Mile 17.5 (being held down by AJ and Briana) and gave hugs to friends volunteering at the Mile 24 aid station (always love seeing Sarah and Colin).

Runners make the best friends! 

Before we knew it the race was coming to a close. I’m probably a weird-o (don’t worry, I won’t take offense if you think that’s the case), but I tend to get sad the closer I get to the finish line because that means the fun is coming to an end. Although I was bummed the party was concluding, I knew we had a TON to do before heading out on our three week road trip the following morning so wasn’t too upset with being done with our run.

Finish line selfie!

The hubby and I officially finished in 4:51. But no matter our time, we celebrate finish LINES (not necessarily finish TIMES)! I know this may sound bad, but thanks to the hubby’s tummy troubles I actually had one of my first negative split races! (I always run the first half faster than the second half, but since we had so many walk breaks during the first six miles, our second half of the race was about 15 minutes faster than our first half - SCORE!)

Once we crossed the finish line we saw Ryan (the Conqur Marketing and Communications guru and ambassador mastermind {those may be unofficial titles, but I think they fit ;)}) and had to stop. He ran and grabbed medals, put one around my neck and gave me the honors of giving the hubby his. He's such an AMAZING guy! I'm sad he's moving on from his position with Conqur, but am stoked as he and his family head to Texas for a role with World Vision.

Me and the Ryans ;) 

Obviously the hubby had to partake in his Angel City Brewery adult beverage after we cooled down. (He was pumped that it was “good beer” instead of the “crappy” stuff you normally get after a race.) This is the first year I’ve actually gone to the beer garden (the last two years I ran by myself and since I don’t drink beer I just made my way straight to the car once I finished). The space was very tight and the line for the beer was pretty long, but the hubby said it was worth it ;)

"Beer me!" 

On the walk back to the car I asked someone to snap a quick picture for us to commemorate the moment. Can you believe the hubby ran his SECOND full marathon?! And only three weeks after his first?! He is a ROCKSTAR!

I always try to snap a selfie in case the shot the random stranger I ask doesn't come out ;)

You may not be aware, if you haven’t run this race before, but they don’t reveal the race medal beforehand. I sort of love that you don’t know what it looks like until you cross the finish line. Well, let’s just say it is PURRRRTY!

Isn't she lovely?!

I’m happy to report that I’ve got yet another successful LA Marathon in the books! PS If you want to run LA next year, make sure to register TODAY! They are currently having a FLASH SALE that ends tomorrow, March 24th. If you are thinking about running this race (Why the heck wouldn’t you want to?! I mean, you can’t DRIVE to all of the landmarks as fast as you'll run by them!), don’t miss out on the lowest prices of the season!


What race have you done with the best crowd support?

No comments: