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LA Marathon 2015

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LA Marathon 2015

Post  Tim C on Sun Mar 22, 2015 4:45 pm

So I ran the LA Marathon last Sunday, 3rd time I’ve run it and 2nd time doing the Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica pier route.  For the most part, I had a good training cycle leading up to it, only missing a handful of runs a couple of months back with a wonky calf, but no major issues.  I was shooting for something in the 3:55 range as, come this September, my BQ will drop to sub 3:55.  Figured if I could do it here, qualifying at the CIM in Sacramento in December just might be doable.
 
Checking the weather starting about 10 days out it became very apparent that a PR was out of the question.  (My PR is 3:59).  Temps were forecasted to be record highs for March, topping out around 90, although I knew I’d be finished before it got that hot.  Exiting the expo on Saturday at 10am it was 86 and the sun was brutal so my running partner and I agreed to just run it as a training run and take it easy.  Denise is much faster than I (3:34 PR), but has been battling a tight hamstring issue for a while so she had agreed to slow down and run with me.  The heat just meant we would slow down even more.
 
They moved the start up 30 minutes to 6:55 and turned all of the clocks off at each mile marker as they did not want people running for time in the heat.  We got to the finish line parking area at 4:30 looking for a repeat of 2 years ago where we were on a bus with 5 minutes – NOT.  45 minutes in a long snaking line we finally boarded a bus only to sit for another 10 minutes or so – no idea why.  Drive to Dodger stadium and take forever to get in the parking lot so we finally exit the bus 25 minutes before they were going to close the seeded corrals.
 
TMI warning:  Now without going into detail, I am very regular in the morning.  Up at 5, take care of business, and I’m on my way.  Today, up at 2:30, the system just wasn’t ready so I figured no worries, I’ll take care of business at Dodger stadium.  Well, getting there so late was going to be a problem as the lines were a mile long.  Had to bail on using the restroom so I could get my compression sleeves and singlet on.  No time to put Vaseline on the feet, no time really for anything but to race to the bag drop-off and run to the start corrals.  We were one of the last ones in before they closed them….
 
Standing in the corral waiting for the start I’m getting real worried that this isn’t going to go well.  Then I get run into by a VERY large man.  Turn around to see this guy that’s maybe 6’5” and 300 lbs.  I look at his bib, no corral assignment and look back up at him.  He states “yeah, I know I’m not supposed to be here, but don’t want to finish last so I thought I’d move up here”.  Denise and I just smile at each other but I’m trying to figure out how this hulk of a man was able to slip thru the guys monitoring the corral entrances…
 
Anyway, shortly before 7 we are off.  The miles feel easy but my gut was telling me this wasn’t going to stay easy for much longer.  At about mile 6 there was no two ways about it, I was going to have to stop, so I did.  We started back up telling ourselves this was just a training run so no big deal.  Feeling MUCH better, the miles started clicking off again until sometime around mile 14 or 15.  Same feeling in the gut and I finally just had to stop again.  2-3 minutes later we’re back on the road but by now the sun was out in full force, my gut was screaming at me, and it was obvious that the last few miles were not going to be a lot of fun.
 
Finally, at mile 22, I told Denise to go ahead as I was going to need to walk for a bit.  Reluctantly, she did, but we had an agreed upon place to hook up.  Walked for a minute and seriously thought about throwing up.  Body and legs felt fine but my gut was doing somersaults.  Ran a mile and walked again and it finally passed a bit so I was able to run the last couple of miles in, at something around an 8:30 pace.  4:12 finish with a couple of long pit stops so not too bad.  Ran into Denise right away, got some food, walked to the car, stretched, changed into dry shirts and headed home.
 
On the way home my stomach started REALLY talking back to me.  Pretty much stayed upset for the next couple of days.
 
Learned a couple of things here:  first, even though it didn’t feel THAT hot when we were running, when we stopped you could tell just how hot it was.  Second lesson, if I ever get to a race and I have a choice of using the facilities and starting late or starting on time without going, I know for sure which choice to make.  I would have been MUCH better off dealing with the really slow runners at the back of the field rather than going out in the condition I was in.  I know, TMI here, my apologies.
 
At any rate, I have to consider the race a relative success.  Can’t do anything about the weather not cooperating.  I trained well and the legs felt great the entire way.  A little sore the next couple of days but that’s to be expected after running in that heat.  I had no cramping at all during the race, a first for me.  Combination of Endurolytes and Nuun worked well.
 
   
Target is now CIM in December – hoping for nice weather…
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Re: LA Marathon 2015

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Sun Mar 22, 2015 5:32 pm

I feel for you, Tim, especially having run a couple of "hot" marathons (ING GA in 2007, Madison in 2007, and Boston, 2012) and it's tough.  I wish I had been able to post before and I would have given you the small bit of advice that I received before Boston in 2012 which was to walk through every water stop from the very first one down a cup of water, a cup of sports drink and pouring a cup of water over my head.  I also didn't wear watch so I'm happy to see that they put no time pressure on the runners.

Another thing to remember the next time is that all marathons are "chip timed".  It was a lesson that I learned last year at Boston when we were delayed etc with bus issues.  

Great job in horrid conditions.  Rest up, recover well, and let's hope that the weather is better in December.
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Re: LA Marathon 2015

Post  Mike MacLellan on Sun Mar 22, 2015 6:01 pm

Heat always wrecks my stomach.  Pretty normal response, I'd say.  

Do you drink coffee?  Might help that huge time adjustment a bit.  

All things considered, that's a hell of a time, as I've mentioned on your blog.  I think you'll be fine come CIM.
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Re: LA Marathon 2015

Post  Mark B on Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:07 pm

All things considered, you did quite well. I think CIM should be a good race. One benefit there: lots and lots of porta potties
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Re: LA Marathon 2015

Post  Tim C on Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:22 pm

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:I feel for you, Tim, especially having run a couple of "hot" marathons (ING GA in 2007, Madison in 2007, and Boston, 2012) and it's tough.  I wish I had been able to post before and I would have given you the small bit of advice that I received before Boston in 2012 which was to walk through every water stop from the very first one down a cup of water, a cup of sports drink and pouring a cup of water over my head.  I also didn't wear watch so I'm happy to see that they put no time pressure on the runners.

Another thing to remember the next time is that all marathons are "chip timed".  It was a lesson that I learned last year at Boston when we were delayed etc with bus issues.  

Great job in horrid conditions.  Rest up, recover well, and let's hope that the weather is better in December.

Thanks Michele.  I actually always start with a 20 oz bottle of water mixed with Nuun and was lucky enough to score another bottle a few miles in so I was good on water for the first half.  I did stop most miles after that and Denise had fun pouring water on me in the meantime.  She kept reminding me of the women in short shorts with wet towels on Rodeo Drive - I told her I didn't remember them and she didn't believe me.  Well, they weren't there so I had bust her chops over that.  They did have wet towels in the finish chute which were simply awesome.

And yes, I know about the chip timing but I had 2 things working against me.  First, I was in the open corral 2 years ago and it was terrible.  Second, Denise was already scaling way back to run with me so I didn't want to subject her to that.  Lesson learned for future races....

@Mike MacLellan wrote:Heat always wrecks my stomach.  Pretty normal response, I'd say.  

Do you drink coffee?  Might help that huge time adjustment a bit.  

All things considered, that's a hell of a time, as I've mentioned on your blog.  I think you'll be fine come CIM.

Honestly Mike, I don't think the heat bothered me nearly as much as the bathroom failure prior to the start.  It was hot for sure, but at the pace we were running, it was tolerable.

@Mark B wrote:All things considered, you did quite well. I think CIM should be a good race. One benefit there: lots and lots of porta potties

Mark, thanks, but I'm hoping I don't need those port potties at CIM, at least the ones on the course.  Funny, after running this race twice now, the bathroom issues prior to the race continue to amaze me.  They had a LOT of port potties in the parking lot and we had full access to the lower level of the stadium.  We kept going farther into the stadium and every line was a mile long.  Finally settled into a line that I subsequently bailed on as it wasn't moving when Ryan Hall ran right by me.  I remember thinking I bet the elites have access to restrooms the rest of us don't.....
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