Sunday, February 28, 2016

LA Marathon Recap

It's been two weeks since I ran my first marathon and honestly, I've been avoiding this recap.  My experience wasn't what I wanted and I was extremely disappointed in myself.  I had to remove myself from the experience for a while before looking back.  

I went into the race with one goal-- to finish.  It was my first marathon and I truly did not know what to expect.  I had an unspoken time goal, but realized about 10 miles in, that wasn't going to happen.  First, what went wrong. 

Injury:  I have tendinitis in my foot and occasionally it flares up.  My foot decided during a run would be a good time for that to happen.  I was in excruciating pain and a few times, contemplated stopping.  But I trudged on.  At one point, I feel like I was trotting-- half running, half walking.  I did everything I could to find the most comfortable form of movement for my foot.  During the run, I was blaming myself for the pain.  I should have trained better, I should have worn different shoes and every other thing I could find to blame, I did.  

Bloody Nose: Who gets a bloody nose during a race? This girl!  I have no idea where it came from.  Around mile 19, I thought my nose was dripping.  Turns out it was, but it wasn't just snot. (TMI, I know, but it is what it is)  So I had to deal with that.  Fortunately, it didn't take that long to take care of it, but I did spend the rest of the race worrying that it would happen again before I finished.

Me: I became my own worst enemy during the race.  I was disappointed and I let it get in my head.  It slowed my down.  I let me beat me.  There were times when I was running and crying at the same time.  As one spectator asked me if I was okay, I simply replied, "I'm a hot mess, but I need to finish."  

And now, what went right.

The Course:  It was a fun course.  I loved exploring LA and seeing all the sights.  I stopped a few times for pictures. I will be returning in 2017.  

The People:  The crowd support and other runners were awesome.  From the We Run Social Crew holding it up at mile 18 to seeing my friend Stephanie at mile 22, a runner definitely feels the love.  I had other runners stop to make sure I was okay and the spectators provided the encouragement I needed.  The texts of support and love during the race were amazing. At mile 20, I sent a selfie to my cousin with a few choice words.  His response was exactly what I needed to keep going.  If it weren't for the people, I truly believe I would not have finished.

My mile 20 selfie.


I Finished:  My time wasn't what I wanted.  There was blood, sweat and tears.  I struggled more than I ever have during a race.  But I finished.  I am a marathoner. 

I am beyond grateful for everyone who supported me during my marathon journey.  Going into it, I didn't know if I would be a "one and done" marathon runner or if I would want to do it again.  Turns out, as much as I hated the experience, I also loved it.  I'll be running my second marathon in June.  

Until next time, happy running!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Should I Run Naked? and Other Random Thoughts

After 2015's Los Angeles Marathon, I made the impulse decision to sign up for 2016's.  At the time, it felt like such a long time off and now it's only a week away!  As my first marathon quickly approaches, here are some of my random thoughts, in no particular order.

What was I thinking?
Who runs 26.2 miles for fun?!  Oh, wait, that's right.  A lot of people do.  And after next Sunday, I will be one of those people.  I'm excited and I can't wait to cross the finish line!

Should I run naked?

By naked, I mean without my GPS watch.  I'm one of those runners who lets my time/pace get into my head.  And not in a good way.  It's my first marathon, which means automatic PR.  I'm worried that if I wear my watch, I'll let it get in my head and it won't be as fun as an experience for me.  And as my first marathon, I want to enjoy every 26.2 miles of it!

I wish my mom could be there.

There's no doubt that when my mom passed away a year and a half ago, it turned my world upside down.  She was always my biggest supporter and biggest fan.  She loved hearing about my race adventures and loved seeing my medals.  She was always the first person I called after a race.  And this is one of the first milestones in my life she won't be there for.  So I'll run for her.  And I imagine at some point in the race, there will be tears.  I just want to make her proud of me.  

What should I wear?

I have my socks picked out. I have my skirt picked out.  But now the dilemma of which tank and sports bra to wear.  And what accessories to wear.  I like to be #runmatchy, so once all those things are decided, I'll be able to pick out my KTTape color.   And then I'll plan my back-up outfit, in case something doesn't workout on race day.  

I know some amazing people!

My journey to get to my first marathon has been supported by so many people.  It's been a humbling experience-- from those who have run with me, have shown their support through social media and all the random texts of encouragement.  It's been amazing.  I wouldn't be ready if it weren't for those people.  

What will I eat when I finish?

Who doesn't love post-race meals.  There are time when knowing I'm headed towards a good meal will help push me through the last couple of miles. For my runs in San Diego, my post-race meal is always a burrito.  So good! I'm hoping to find something equally as delicious in Los Angeles before the drive home.  

I'm ready.

I can't believe it's only a week away, but I'm ready to run my first marathon.  Let's do this LA!

Until next time, happy running!

Ultra Runner Crate

A few weeks ago, I went on Instagram to see if anyone I knew has tried the Ultra Runner Crate subscription box.  I was intrigued at the idea...