The Los Angeles Marathon has been on my bucketlist for as long as I could remember. For those who do not know, the LA Marathon happens once a year, usually around February or March. It consists of running 26.2 miles from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica Beach. You might be thinking “why the heck is running 26.2 miles on your bucketlist?” Hmmmm maybe because I’m crazy and I love challenges that many think is impossible.
I honestly was not consistent with my training due to a hectic work schedule. The most I had ever ran was 13.1 and I didn’t start training until February!! Everyone else started in November but I was like “I’m gunna do it!” I teamed up with Blacklist LA, a Los Angeles based running club that was training for the marathon. I went in there with a positive attitude hoping for the best.
Before I knew it, it was Race Day. Woke up bright and early Sunday morning, carpooled with a fellow running buddy and arrived at Dodger Stadium at 4am. I remember the atmosphere was filled with excitement, however I was just focused on trying to keep warm since all I had on was a tank top and shorts. As sunlight started to break in, I slowly met up with additional running friends. We took a few pictures then walked over to the corrals. I was aiming for a 10:30 min mile pace.
We heard the starting gun go off and slowly the endless sea of people started to walk across the starting line. The sides of the streets were filled with sweaters as people started to throw their clothes away. It was a slow start as everyone funneled out. I lost about 90% of my group and ran along side my good friend Gabriel.
The first town was China Town, the sidewalks were filled with dancing dragons as a group of men and women were beating drums. I slowly made my way through the streets of LA. Everything looked familiar to me as I had been practicing on those streets for weeks. As I approached the Walt Disney Concert Hall I had to mentally prepare myself for the hill. I tried keeping a consistent pace as my friend pulled my hand from keeping me from slowing down. After the hill I went through Echo Park and Hollywood.
It was around Hollywood that I started cramping up. I told my friend to go on without me as I saw that my pace was slowing down. I stopped and stretched a little bit after 13.1 miles and kept on running. Around mile 18 was when I started seeing most of my running friends cheering me on. The highlight was when I saw my mom and sister at mile 19. It gave me the determination I needed to push through the last couple of miles. The last two miles were the toughest, my legs felt heavy and I wanted nothing more but to finish. What kept me going was the crowd. It’s amazing to see the community come together to come support random people run, I had people giving me water, juice, candy, and all types of food. I had people patting me on the back and screaming out ‘you can do it.’ The support of all the people made the run easy.
In my honest opinion I think anyone can do a marathon. Is it easy? No. Is it doable? Absolutely!!! All you need is training (to prevent injuries) and a good playlist( I used spodify) and Boom. Marathon ready. I know next time around I’ll run faster, I ran 26.2 miles in 5 hours 21 minutes.
Hydrate all week prior to running
Never run in anything you have never ran in before
Wear a runners belt. Carry Advil and some gummies or GU.
Create an epic playlist
Do not wear cotton underwear. Trust!
Wear sunglasses or hat.
Stretch before and after the run
Listen to your body
And most importantly go in there with a good attitude