April 14, 2020
The Los Angeles Marathon 2020; last 26 miles at age 26
My third marathon, the Los Angeles Marathon, this year was one for the books. After completing the Kaua’i Marathon over Labor Day weekend – I was feeling extremely defeated. That marathon was hard in so many ways, challenged me in ways I wasn’t strong enough to conquer. You might be thinking “but you finished it so shut up”; and yes, I agree. But as I’ve learned with my running coach these past few months, I have a long ways to go as a runner. I am naturally capable and have the drive, but there is so much more to running than just putting headphones in, on a competitive level. I mentioned that I was feeling defeated post-Kaua’i and its difficulties; I kept reminding myself how much I adored the course in Los Angeles and that I just don’t need to try a course that made me that miserable again. Good idea? I think so!
I did end up getting back on the horse and came around to getting mentally prepared to train for Los Angeles. I was very vocal on wanting to find a running coach for this next one. In comparison to the past 2 marathons: I created my own training schedule, made nutrition plans, pushed myself as much as I could. I very confidently knew that if I had a professional helping me through this process, I could find more success. I also should mention that I just started mid-October at a new job in which I was working 10-14 hours a day, 6 days a week – I didn’t have the capability to create my sweat schedule, monitor my progression, and plan every run/workout in advance. Just wasn’t possible. I went ahead and asked Evan, my personal Trainer – LookLikeFlock, if he knew of any running coaches. He then reached out to his network to get the name of a running coach in Philadephia who comes highly recommended. Cue in John, FixYourRun; it took one 30 minute phone call – but really 2 minutes to say YES. December 8sth was the official training start date that John and I put on the calendar. In running terms, I was already late (in comparison to the past, this was a month earlier than I’ve started). I find it super important to rant and rave over my experience with John and Evan the past 4.5 months.
I worked my ass off. Let me repeat that one more time – I WORKED MY FRICKIN ASS OFF!
Every morning the alarm went off at 6am (or earlier); the workouts would be 1 of the 3 options:
1. 6am Indoor Cycling then Running to follow, 3 – 6 miles
2. 6am Indoor Cycling then Personal Training (Evan emphasized on my core/arms/upper body/glutes)
3. 1 long run (Wednesday, Friday and Sundays were the longer ones)
I would go to work by 9am/10am latest, work 10-14 hours and do it all over again. Amidst the craziest professional episode I have had yet in my career, I never let my training schedule suffer. That is what I am most proud of. AND YES, there were many mornings where I work up and just didn’t want to. I listened to my body if the work load the night before kept me there until 10pm – midnight; the lack of sleep just wouldn’t be worth it for the days to follow. John was so flexible with managing my running schedule per week with the insane hours work called for; he knew I was doing everything I could.
Let’s skip to the Marathon. What was I aiming for? I was aiming for 4 hours. Reminder: LA #1 was 3:56, Kaua’i: 4:31 and this I wasn’t running as fast but I had the mileage built. I would kick myself if I didn’t make 4 hours happen. John, along with my family and friends, were reminding me that I worked my ass off and that is what I should be proud of. As well as reminding me that this is fun, and to enjoy the ride. Hard feat to tell my competitive brain.
Starting with the seated coral group C, due to my great past marathon time, really helped in the success of my run. This allowed me to start with people at my same pace; instead of dodging slower runnings that acted as landmines, I could just go. I paced at 8:03 – 8:05 per mile for the first 15 miles. My stomach was acting up, which helped me in that sprint for the first 15; made a quick bathroom stop and got back out there. From mile 15, through the end, I was pacing a 8:30 – 8:35 per mile. Finishing so strong at 3:46; a whole 10 minutes faster than my last tour de Los Angeles. There were so many furry friends, cheerful pals, and familiar faces throughout the route – which I am unbelievably grateful for. I promise those faces made such a difference along the way; there is nothing like running circles around your hometown. Los Angeles, I love you. I will never forget this PR!