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 Los Angeles Marathon
Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:07 am 

Welp, it's this weekend. A scant 60 days after my ultra, and I'm off to my first road marathon. What in the hell is wrong with me? The weather is supposed to be perfect: Race day calls for 61 and clear skies.

As I mentioned before, I'm running with a friend of mine who has been threatening to run it for 9 years and hasn't really run since high school cross country(until training for the marathon), so I plan on keeping a slower-than-normal pace and not setting any PRs. He, being very competetive and having run 15-16 minute 5ks in high school, wants to finish in 4 or under. It's gonna take a whole lot to reign him in until mile 20.

Expect a very strange race report soon!


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:38 am 

Best of luck to you Rustyboy, and enjoy yourself! As you said, it's looking like the weather couldn't be any better.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 1:34 pm 

What's wrong with you? I'd say nothing, except that you've got the running bug!

Have a great race on Sunday. How do you feel? Rested? Healthy? With all your ultra training, you'll probably breeze through it. Maybe you can lend some of your strength to your buddy when he begins to tire. I'm curious to see how that works out. I've never tried to run a race side-by-side with someone else, but I imagine it will be challenging for both of you.

I'm looking forward to your race report. I'm also racing on Sunday (12K tune-up race), so we'll have plenty of reports to read afterwards...


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:28 am 

Well, the weather was perfect, and as Randy Newman's "I Love LA" (ironically, a song about NOT loving LA, but it somehow attached itself to the city) blasted through the speakers, 25,200 runners took off into the concrete jungle of Los Angeles.

This, being my first road race (I believe the highest number of participants in my trail races hovers around 315), I was blown away by the sheer SIZE of everything: Musicians playing in the streets, people hanging out to cheer us on, dodging and weaving for the first 5 miles around, not rocks and roots, but walkers and shufflers.

I was running with my friend Eric, who had been threatening to run this marathon for 8 years and challenged me only a few days after my 50k to run it with him. Well, I did have the base, but I was concerned that he'd only been running regularly for about 3 weeks at that point (he was a stellar track athlete in high school but had since fallen off the running wagon). I pointed him towards several training programs and told him to "catch up".

THE RACE

Our first 10k, we clocked in at 55:14, a less than 9 mn/mile pace, which we'd been counting on. We both felt fantastic, and I was itching to push it, but I was there for Eric moreso than myself, so we trudged on enjoying the picture-perfect weather.

Our next split was at 13.1 miles, and we hit that at 1:55:33, still both flying high. I could tell that I was going to finish more than strongly at this pace, but I sensed hesitation in Eric. Slight, but I knew it was there. When we stopped so he could take a leak, it took him 2 minutes to get out of the port-o-john, so I knew something was up.

Our wives awaited us at a designated corner around 14 miles, and we rushed over, gave them sweaty, salty kisses, and got the hell out of Dodge. Into the back half, I was getting the warning signals from Eric that things were taking a turn, and by 15, I saw that glaze that overcomes runners who are approaching the wall. Regardless of my constant insistence that we eat and drink more than we felt necessary, his reserves we running low, probably from a lack of long runs in his training, but I kept up words of encouragement and told him, "We're finishing this together."

At 19, I was seriously losing him. Our pace was somewhere in the 10:30 neighborhood, and we were still in the middle of some hills. I pushed him, tried everything from humor to positive reinforcement, to getting him angry at the course, but I was losing him, and at 22, staring at the split clock, he looked at me and said, "Break 4 hours."

I had major gas in my tanks still, so I patted him on that back and said, "I will see you within 10 minutes of my finish. Keep moving. You can do it." I picked up my pace and left Eric behind, trudging, aching. I felt awful for doing it, and wouldn't have split off if he hadn't insisted.

Our wives again were at mile 24, so I waved across the street and picked it up even more. About 1/2 a mile later, I saw a runner in the middle of the road, holding his left hamstring. As I am wont to do whenever I see someone stopped and hurting during a race, I asked, "Are you okay?" and saw a grimacing, tearfilled face look back at me. He screamed as I hoisted his arm over my shoulders and shuffled him to the curb. An onlooker took him and screamed, "I've got him! go!" and off I went.

I felt the leg burning and the nausea coming on, but I was 1 mile from the finish and pushed even harder. I couldn't BELIEVE the throngs of cheering people as I entered the chutes, barely missing 4 hours at 4:02:19, placing 2375 out of 25, 200 runners.

Our wives reunited with us and welcomed us with 2 bottles of Guinness, which we thankfully guzzled in celebration. And Eric, after all of that struggle? The s'umbitch finished in 4:08! I shudder to think what he'll do with a big running base under his belt.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 8:52 am 

Great job Rustyboy! And I wouldn't feel at all bad about leaving Eric after 22 miles - you'd done your job by that point, you could drive home for a better finish, and then loop back and run the final mile or so with him. Sounds like he didn't need you to do that anyway, though.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:14 am 

Nice one, Rustyboy! Congratulations on your first marathon finish! It must have been quite a shock going from the relative peace and solitude of a trail race to 25,000 road runners and who knows how many screaming Angelenos. I bet it was total pandemonium at the finish. I get goosebumps just thinking of it.

It sounds like you ran a very strong race, with plenty of juice left for the final miles, and I'm certain you would have been still faster if you'd been running on your own. I admire you for supporting your buddy through the race. I would have been hopping around impatiently after 15 seconds of waiting for someone in the port-o-potty, forget about two minutes. And taking the time to help and injured runner over to the curb is all class. You are a true gentelman runner.

Unfortunately it sounds like you friend's race preparation was too weak, and relied too much on those memories of HS school track and not enough on endurance building. It must have been interesting to see that glazed look slowly develop on his face as the miles ticked by, but frustrating that none of your motivational attempts seemed to help enough. I wouldn't feel the least built guilty for separating after 22 miles. After all, you ran with him for almost the entire race, and no doubt were a huge boost for him.

How do you feel today? Like you were hit by a bus, or just moderately sore? Are you going to take some time off now to recover? What's next on your race calendar?


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 1:39 pm 

Thanks, fellas - I feel fine, save more the normal aches in the knees, hip, etc. And of course, I'm eating everything I can get my hands on. The cats are looking worried.

You are absolutely right, Rickshaw: Coming off of that ultra with a mere 80 other runners and no one in sight during the race until the end (and even then, maybe 20 people were around the finish), I was totally moved by the sights and sounds of a monstrous race. And Eric's prep was too weak, which is why I stuck with him. I honestly think if he'd taken the time to build a base, he would have smoked that race. Next time.

As far as what's next: Some shorter races in the summer (mostly trail 25Ks and 10Ks) and then training for my first triathlon which will be in September. Immediately following that, building up to my 50 miler in January. But as for this week...

...a whole lotta notin'.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:17 pm 

I'm glad you're feeling fine this morning. I read in today's news that three runners had heart attacks during yesterday's LA Marathon, and two of them died. That is scary stuff. http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060320/us_nm/life_marathon_dc;_ylt=AmfMu9LfoNGxFmiJOuUcUNGs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 8:55 am 

How's the marathon recovery going, Rustyboy? Still taking it easy? Have you picked out your 50 mile goal race yet?

Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 11:02 am 

Taking it easy? Ha! NEVER!!!!

I ran only about 8 miles the week after the marathon and swam twice, which was perfect. I'm back in the saddle now, starting to build a base for the LA Triathlon and the Malibu Tri (both are in September) before I begin my structured training program in May. As far as the 50 miler, I'm looking at either:

http://www.avalon50.com/

which is in January, or:

http://www.leonadivide.com/

which is basically 1 year from now. It all depends in how much of a "training burnout" I am by the end of next year. I'd have to jump from doing the tris to immediately starting a training program for the January 50, which means I'll have been training for big races for over a year, straight through. Argh.

Have any races caught your eye after Boston this summer?


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 3:18 pm 

Glad to you're recovering well and on to the next big thing. This will be your first triathlon? Are those Olympic distance tris, or how long? Did you get yourself a fancy new tri bike? Maybe we should create a triathlon forum for you and ginger.

The Avalon 50 looks beautiful. That's a long time from now, though. You're much better disciplined than me if you can stay focused on a race goal for that long.

As for me, I'll probably look for another marathon this fall. Maybe I can team up with OldManRunner again for his BQ attempt. Or maybe I should look into a 50k myself, since it's "only" 20% longer than a road marathon...


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Los Angeles Marathon Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:15 pm 

Yep, these tris will be my first: the LA Tri is an Oly, the Malibu is a sprint, both on consecutive weekends. I snagged a great deal on my first road bike and have modified it for tris, but DAMN, those triathlon bikes are sexy (and incredibly expensive)!

I'm pushing for the Avalon 50 because of the scenery, and it's out on Catalina Island, so it's an entire "experience": Having to ferry out, making a weekend of it, etc. And we'll see if I stick to it. That's a LONG ways away, although, ostensibly, I'd like to do my first 100 mile race within 2 years, and hitting as many 50ks and up for experience is my plan.

Oh man, you think marathons are addictive? 28 miles into my 50k, legs aching, wind whipping my salt-stained face, a PB and J crammed in my drooling mouth as I stopped behind a boulder to relieve myself, I thought, "Bring on the next one!" You should definitely look into them - there are a lot of gorgeous races up by you.

Or you *could* get OldManRunner below the 3 hour mark for his BQ :)


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