Three days ago I ran the Los Angeles Marathon. This was my third standalone marathon and fourth marathon overall. My other marathons have included the Flying Pig twice and the run in Ironman Louisville.
Back in November I ran the Malibu half marathon in a 1:43.02 which was a 9 minute drop from my previous best half time. This gave me high hopes for what I could do during this marathon. Also considering the fact that the only other actual marathon I had done in the past was the Flying Pig which is a very hilly course. The LA Marathon course generally goes downhill the whole time with a few random hills thrown in.
All was going well with my training until the middle of December when I started to get a sharp pain in my left hip flexor. This is not the first time I have suffered from hip problems. I have had like 3 MRIs on my right hip in the past few years but they always came up clean! So I figured this hip flexor issue was probably nothing and tried to run through it. On Christmas Eve while I was home for Christmas, I did a 12 mile run even though my pain was pretty bad. Of course this run made everything worse so I was basically limping for about a week and I took off that week from running.
I ended up taking off about 5 weeks total from running. The cycle was the same each time. I would rest for a week, feel better, try a short run, then my hip would hurt again. SO, I ended up finally taking like 3 weeks straight with no running whatsoever and it ended up getting better! I would still get an occasional twinge but nothing I couldn’t run through.
SO ANYWAY, that was like the end of January when I was able to start running again. Of course, this really hindered my training because I took 5 weeks off right in the middle of the training and missed a lot of long runs. I did do my 20 mile run though! But for the most part with all the cycling and swimming that I do, I figured my endurance would be okay.
Essentially this whole situation had me going into the race with very little expectations. I was just happy that I was even able to still race! There was a time during my break where I really thought I would have to drop out of the race. So mainly I was excited to just run and get to see a lot of the city while on foot. OH ALSO, I was excited they even had the race! There was talk of cancelling because of COVID-19.
Now to the actual race! The race began at Dodgers stadium and ran all the way to Santa Monica beach. There were shuttles going from Union Station up to the stadium for the race start. I live pretty close to Union Station so I took a 5 minute Uber there and hopped on a shuttle.
The race start was very well organized and there were SO MANY PORTAPOTTIES. Like as far as the eye could see! This was obviously nice because I didn’t have to stand in line for 30 minutes waiting to pee and worrying about missing the start of the race. I lined up in my corral at about 6:30 and the race started at 6:55. Everything went as smooth as it could before the race started.
Once the race started, we had to run a bit to actually get out of the stadium area and onto the roads. I was shocked at how many people were walking literally 2 minutes into the race. It was kind of annoying because obviously the start of a race is super crowded and it’s hard to get around people. So all the people walking were really causing a traffic jam. Also, if you need to walk then generally you should go off to the side so you aren’t in the way. These people were just walking right in the middle! ALSO, I was in like the third fastest corral so I thought it was weird that there were so many walkers.
The traffic cleared about a mile into the race and I got into a rhythm. A WAYYYY too fast rhythm. I felt so good and was cruising along at a 7:30-7:45 pace. This is more of like a 13.1 pace for me BUT I felt good so I thought why not see how long I can keep this up!? Well I kept it up for awhile! I actually ended up going like a 1:45 for the first half which is my second fastest half marathon time ever. Oops. Definitely took it out too fast. Around mile 18 I fully began to hate my life. Mile 18 is the worst too because you have already ran SO MUCH but you still have EIGHT FUCKING MILES LEFT. That’s a lot. My legs starting to grow tired and I was slowing down to more of an 8:30-9 minute pace, which still isn’t bad but I knew I wouldn’t hold that for much longer.
Around mile 22 my hip flexor began to hurt again. It felt like it was locked or something. I started to limp-run because of it which made my right hip start to hurt too. THEN my left knee starting to hurt, which never happens! So essentially miles 23-26 were me shuffling at an 11 minute pace and trying not to cry. It was crazy, like I could not physically go any faster than that even if I tried. What helped me get to the end was the giant crowds of people cheering. Seriously, the crowd was nonstop for the last 3 miles which was so awesome!
Finally, I rounded the corner and could see the finish line, though it was still a solid like .3 miles away BUT I COULD SEE IT. I hobbled my way to the end, crossed the finish line, and started crying. I was crying because I was SO HAPPY to not be running anymore and because that was probably the hardest race I have ever done mentally. I finished with a time of 4:02 which really isn’t bad. My best time is a 3:57 and for not training for 5 months, I’m pretty happy with it! I hope to do it again next year but get in some decent training.
So today is now Wednesday and I am still so sore. Thankfully any hip pain that I had subsided! I haven’t done any physical activity the past two days and I’m not sure if I’m ready to do anything today either. I might go for a swim but we’ll see. I got my triathlon bike fitted yesterday finally and I am excited to take him out for a spin soon! I really think this new bike is going to up my triathlon game this year.
As for my race schedule this year, it’s going to be a pretty busy one:
April 5: Nike LA 13.1
May 17: LA Triathlon (Olympic distance)
July 18: Legacy Triathlon (Sprint distance)
August 9: USA Triathlon National Championships (Olymic distance)
September 13: Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz
These are just the ones I actually know that I’m doing. There are plenty of other races that I haven’t signed up for but I’m considering! I would like to do Ironman 70.3 Indian Wells in December, the Malibu half marathon again, and I’m sure I will do some sort of bike race and open water race!