I spent the night at Annie's the night before over in Santa Monica, and rode the Coyote Shuttle (special arrangement by Jimmy) from Bicknell and Main. I felt pretty good on race morning, though my hip still had a little bit of pain from the tendonitis that had been troubling me for end of February and first few weeks of March. I jogged a little of the way down to the shuttle to try and keep warm and had a cheap poncho on to keep me dry before the race. The forecast was for rain, but I wasn't too worried about the weather, I just wanted to make sure I was warm when I started. The shuttle was full of familiar faces and a few new peeps, and it was a nice and comfortable ride to the start.
We got to Dodger Stadium about an hour and half or so before the race, so we had plenty of time to go to the porta potties and to take care of our drop bags. I was a little bit nervous because I wasn't able to poop at all. For those of you who don't run, you may not understand why I'm mentioning this. For those of you who do run, you probably understand all too well. WOOHOOO. Sorry. ANYWAYS, I was nervous about that but not really about anything else. I knew that if the hip acted up I could handle it. I knew that I was in good shape. I was focused on following my race plan for a fun race/PR/long speed workout as part of my AC 100 Training. I spent a little bit of time with Dan Winterbottom and Pedro ( I think? Too long ago to remember. Sorry DRO!) before I moseyed on over to the starting corral to get ready for the start. I had gotten a letter B to put on my bib so I could get access to the Sub 4 Hr. corral, and I had no problem getting in.
I had my Ipod shuffle on my shorts, and my Amphipod pouch around my hips. TECHNICALLY I broke a major rule of racing as this was my first long run with the pouch, but it had seemed like it would be fine when I jogged around with it so I didn't let it bother me. I had purchased these earbud covers at the Expo called YourBuds (they are custom sized and are FUCKING AWESOME) and was jamming to some pre-race tunes. I had two playlists on my shuffle. One was for the first 13.1 miles, which was a mellow mix (P-Dubs Call of Carne Mix) that lasts a little over an hour. The other was a mixture of metal and rap to get me pumped up for the second 13.1.
My race plan was to run the first half marathon at around a 7:45 pace, which I could still PR with if I ran the whole race at that pace. It wasn't tough for me to run that pace during my training runs, but I still hadn't ever run more than 7 or 8 miles at that pace so didn't know how I would fare. Based on my 10k time from Boopas, I calculated that I should run between a 3:10 and 3:20 marathon if I went all out. The 7:45 would have put me between 3:20 and 3:30, so I sort of guessed that I wouldn't struggle too much to maintain at that pace. The plan for the second half was to run fast. No specific pace, as fast as I could go for the last 13.1. I had it in my mind that I should be able to catch Kate Martini Freeman if I went fast enough (I wasn't). Regardless, this plan turned out to be awesome.
I was pretty excited right before we started. I hadn't tested my speed at this distance since the SF marathon, and that had been a bad race. This time I felt prepared. I felt like I knew what I was doing. I popped an Apple Cinamon Hammer Gel (my absolute FAVORITE) when they announced the 5 minute warning, and waited anxiously. When the gun went off I started running. My music was going, I paid close attention to my pace so as not to go out too fast. The first few miles are downhill so I still ran some faster miles but kept it calm. It started raining just before the first mile marker and didn't end up stopping for the rest of the day. I was by myself for almost the entire race. I had put on sunscreen, which was running into my eyes, and I didn't feel very good for the first 5 or 6 miles. Luckily, I now had the experience to know that I needed to just relax and let it go. I knew what pace I was going to run. I knew I could be in pain for hours. I knew it would end.
|Not sure where, but this is what the first 6 miles felt like.|
|Cruisin' through Hollywood. Mile 10-ish.|
|Angry flying running.|
|Rodeo Drive. Flying. Lovin' it.|
|RELEASE THE ENERGY. BOOM.|