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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Los Angeles Marathon!!

OK, this race was on my calendar for about two weeks, so I didn’t have much time to think about it too much. I convinced my hubby (David) to load us and our pups in the car for a mini vacation (aka 10 hour road trip) to Los Angeles for some fun in the sun. The marathon just HAPPENED to be that weekend (wink, wink).

We decided to leave Thursday night, drive a few hours stay the night in Cedar City, and get to LA a with a little more rest. Good call. Once we made it to LA we headed straight to the Expo which was at Dodger’s Stadium.

Great expo! Picked up my race number, tech t, stocked up on KT Tape and free samples, bought David and I some really comfortable flip flops and headed over to my dear friends Heather and Jesse’s house, where we were staying. Not only are they 2 of my dearest New York friends, they lived in a beautiful home minutes away from the start! Perfect!!

We spent Saturday seeing the sights. Exhausted from the heat and walking around, Jesse offered to fix us our own pre-race pasta feast, his special baked ziti, salad & garlic bread! YUM!!

Sunday morning I got up at 5:00am, ate breakfast and got dressed. Jesse drove me to Dodger’s Stadium at 6:30am (so David could relax and not get lost with all the road closures- so nice of him).

The race started about 10 minutes late, but that was fine with me. The port-a-potty lines were long and it gave me plenty of time to “evacuate” before the race. It was really cold at the start, but I was concerned about the heat later in the day. The forecast was a high of 79 degrees F and it was really hot on Saturday. I began drinking water all day Saturday and continued drinking up until the start. Even though I had just waited in line for the port-a-potty, by the time the gun went off, I had to pee before we got out of the stadium! At mile 1 (which was still at the stadium), I stopped as we passed the same bank of port-a-potties I used earlier, knowing that the lines on the course would be twice as long. I was right.

As we headed out of Dodger’s Stadium, it was super crowded. By mile 2 I had already shed my throw away shirt and arm warmers. At mile 3, we passed the Chinatown Dragon Gate. Between miles 5 & 6 we ran along Echo Park Lake.

At mile 7, Heather, Jesse and their 3 pups were there cheering! That was way cool! At around mile 9 I met Carlos, an 18 year old boy who was running his first marathon with the “Students Run LA” program. We ran together until mile 13 passing the Capital Records Tower, Hollywood & Vine, the Hollywood Walk of Fame & Grauman’s Chinese Theater, when he held out his hand and showed me 4 Gu packets. He asked me “When should I take these?” I asked him “How many have you taken already?” “None” was his reply! I told him that he needed to fuel to keep going. I had decided to be smart this race and slow my pace to accommodate the heat, so I stuck with him for another ½ mile and he faded back. I really hope he finished.

Right before mile 14 I stopped to potty again, and passed the famous Whiskey A Go Go.

Right after taking a photo of it, I met Oscar. Oscar was a 60 year old man with many marathons under his belt. He was very friendly and began talking to me. He was hurting pretty badly and when my Garmin beeped for my one minute walk break, Oscar walked with me.

 I told him about the Galloway method as we walked and when my Garmin beeped again, he ran with me. Around mile 16, Oscar said “this just might save my life!” We stuck together as we ran down Rodeo Drive at mile 17 & the LDS Temple at mile 18.

At each beep, Oscar would say “tell me when coach!” He was a hoot! At mile 20, I hit the wall when I saw another hill going up by the Veteran’s Administration. Oscar encouraged me to keep going. I pushed through the wall pretty fast thanks to the policemen squirting water on everyone with hoses. The cold water really put new life in me! We pushed up the last climb, just trying to do our best to get to mile 23. At mile 23 the course went downhill to the finish!

When we hit the mile 23 mark, Oscar and I relaxed and just enjoyed the last 3 miles.

With the finish line in sight, Oscar told me to go for it if I could. I ran strong into the finish with a finish time of 5:04:55. Not a PR, but with 2 potty stops during the race, the heat and the hills, I was happy and I felt great! Oscar’s goal was to finish under 5 hours. He finished in 4:59! He gave me a big hug after and thanked me for “saving” him. He is now a Galloway believer!

I got my medal, photos and food and I met David, Heather, Jesse and Snake (Zoe’s new boyfriend) in Santa Monica where we walked around, met a few Maniacs, drank Diet Cokes, then headed home for a shower and pizza! What a great time I had thanks to David, Heather, Jesse, Carlos & Oscar!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Are You Wearing Green?

I miss my mom today. She loved holidays and had an outfit for all of them. I picture her wearing a shamrock sweater, green pants, some kind of bobble shamrock headband (you know the ones that look like anteni) and a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish!" button.  Bless her little heart! I love you Miss Lillie!!

LA Marathon This Weekend!!

With work and getting ready for our Galloway kickoff meetings, I have had no time to wrap my head around running LA (this might be a good thing). David and I are really looking forward to taking the pups on a fun little road trip to see my dear friend Heather and her hubby Jesse. This will be my 7th marathon, I hope it's lucky!