Tuesday, February 23, 2016

LA Marathon

Rolling down the Imperial Highway...
Santa Ana winds blowing hot from the north

(the course doesn't go anywhere near the Imperial Highway, and the Santa Ana winds blowing hot were a worst-case scenario)

La part 2

The Plan

Train as hard as possible and hope for a decent day to run a PR. Sacrifice to the gods of good weather and try to no overdo things watching the Olympic trials on Saturday.

The Reality

Trained well until the snow back home. The race weather was warm and spent half the day standing at the trials.

The Start

Got a taste of that famed LA traffic and nearly missed it. Was dropped at the gates to Dodger Stadium and had to rush down to the corrals. Found people entering through a gap and went in there, but only got as far as corral D. Started in a sea of people and had to resort to going off course a little to manage some sort of pace. Out of the stadium things opened up I started to run my race.

Early Miles

Felt ok. Maybe not so peak tapered, but early miles were relaxed at a PR pace. Caught up to to Ryan and Brennan downtown and make some bad joke that I can't remember as I went past. They told me to get up further and I listened. The hill out of downtown was tough and I felt like a bit of work, but got to relax a bit on the down side into Echo Park. Made a reference to Warren Zevon and the Pioneer Chicken Stand that no one got as I crossed Alvarado Street. Was taking water about ever other stop, but more wound up on my head than anything else. I also started chasing shade as the buildings on the left made shade along Sunset and later Hollywood Boulevard. At mile 8 I had to run over the Elliott Smith wall, which is from the cover of an album that people don't even seem to like. But I didn't really care, I was taking in the sights of Tinseltown.

More of the Same

Everything was going ok through the middle of the course. It was warm, but not enough to cause a melt down. Plus it's a dry heat. Saw my brother and sister around 14 along the Sunset Strip. Made a 'lol WTF is a record' joke when we passed the former Tower Records (nobody laughed). The course turned and went through Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. Saw somebody run off course to take a photo of the Beverly Hills signs, so didn't feel as silly about the wall detour earlier. The course entered a long stretch of no shade around mile 18 through 20. The foot pain crept in around here, which was annoying but not enough to cause much beyond a slight slowdown.

The Problems

The foot pain, the return of some plantar fasciitis that has been an intermittent problem in the last couple of years. I think it was exacerbated by running in the far left of the course chasing shade in the middle miles. And possibly the result of the shoes I was wearing (or just the fact that I wore the same shoes for that extended amount of time). I had thoughts that I wasn't going to be able to finish because the pain had become so acute. I stopped and put my number on my shorts and ditched the singlet. I walked for what felt like an eternity before trying to run again. It worked to an extent cause I was able to get moving for a little while before the sharper pain returned. I got off the course the best I could, even went completely behind an aid station at one point. I also was grabbing water at every opportunity and cooling myself down. If I hadn't stopped to walk with the foot issues I might have run into trouble with the heat catching up with me. I can't really be sure about that. Somewhere around 24 and half the fog rolled in and the temperature cooled down. I had the idea at some point I was just going to tough it out and at 25 seemed like the time. Finished at 3:32 and had to walk probably more than half a mile at the end to get to the 'A' reunion zone. Good planning, there.

GPS here: