Welp I did it. I ran my first marathon. After a 19 week training program with the Long Beach Running Club I can call myself I marathon runner. In the days leading up to to the L.A. Marathon I was nervous about hitting my goals that I had set for myself;
A. Finish in 3:50
B. Finish under 4 hours.
Whenever somebody had asked me what my goal for the marathon was my response was always “Sub 4.” I didn’t tell anyone about my 3:50 goal because I honestly didn’t know if it was realistic for me or not since with running anything over 18 miles in training I’ve had cramping issues and my pace slowed down quite a bit after that.
I finished with a time of 3:54:24 (Strava Info Here)
I hit by B Goal but not my A Goal. I thought I has done enough as far as being hydrated all week and on race day as well as proper calorie and salt replenishment but again the cramps started around mile 18 with things getting really bad halfway through mile 20. At this point there was a lot of walking and stopping to stretch out but keeping an eye on my watch and how much distance was left, I was sure would still hit my sub 4 hour goal. Knowing that at 17 miles in I had an average pace of 8:33 and sustaining that till mile 20 then losing 20 seconds of overall average pace int he last 6 miles is a little disheartening especially since those miles are predominately downhill.
Doing some more reading this week looks like it’s just a part of long distance running, my muscles may have not been used to the demand of 3+ hours of running and should have got in some more long runs or incorporated some weight training and better recovery practices. There are just so many variables to this that I still need to figure out.
Overall I am happy that I hit one of my goals and was able to share the whole experience with my family, friends and the thousands of strangers cheering along the route. Would I do this course again? I told myself no but there’s something inside me that knows I can better this time in the future. Don’t know why I didn’t get the two pictures that I wanted which was one of me after the finish by myself and one with my brother since’s he’s guided me along this journey… man I F’d up.