After I DNF’d, which you can read here, during the 2013 LA Marathon I told myself that I would be back the next year…for revenge!
Registration for the 2014 LA Marathon opened on October 1st at 9:00AM. I was registered at 9:06AM. I’m IN! Training starts in the middle of November.
Are you running the LA Marathon?
I’ve been thinking about the 10 marathons that I would like to eventually run. The list has been stewing in my brain for awhile. But now it’s time to share it with the rest of the world! These are in no particular order.
- ING New York City Marathon – One of the largest marathons with lots of history. I’ve been trying for the last two years to gain entry into the race via the lottery with no success. Hopefully it’s in the cards for 2014!
- Boston Marathon – THE marathon everyone strives to run. I most likely will have to raise money for charity to run this, because I’m not that fast. Quite honestly, I would feel honored to raise money for a charity to run this marathon!
- Big Sur International Marathon – I saw an awesome picture of runners on the Bixby Bridge. I was sold! Plus friends tell me how much they love this marathon.
- Chicago Marathon – Another marathon that you have to run just once. I’ve only been to the airport, never actually in the city. It would be an AWESOME way to see the city!
- Marine Corps Marathon – Another marathon that my friends talk about. Plus it’s another city that I haven’t been to.
- Portland Marathon – I’ve ran the Rock N Roll Portland half marathon and loved running in this city. Plus I live only a few hours from Portland.
- LA Marathon – Earlier this year I attempted to run this marathon, but due to IT band issues I had to DNF. I WILL be back in 2014 to start AND finish this race. There will be a lot of emotion when I cross that finish line!
- Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon – I’ve run the half marathon a few years. It was actually my first race ever. But I need to run the full and I will be running it this December!
- California International Marathon – Every year I think about doing this race. But it never makes it onto my schedule. I’ve looked at the course map many, many times.
- Eugene Marathon – I’ve been eyeing this one since I started running. Great running town! You get to finish on Hayward Field. How awesome is that?!
What are your top 10 marathons?
The night before the race I did my usual night-before-the-race ritual. I laid out my running clothes and gear in the order that I would put it on in the morning. I went to bed around 9:15pm, but did not sleep as well as I would have wanted and kept waking up every so often. My alarm was set for 4:00am, but I woke up about 15 minutes prior and just couldn’t go back to sleep. I was too excited.
My friend and I left his place around 4:30am. We arrived at Dodger Stadium just after 5am. It was colder than I expected. Luckily I brought a jacket to check into gear check. We walked around for a little bit, but ultimately found a place to sit near some of the barriers until 6am. Listed to the DJ play a lot of awesome songs. Was getting pumped! Checked my gear in around 6:10am and used the porta potty. Luckily there weren’t lines for either. Fast forward 45 minutes later. Time for another visit to the porta potty. This time there were lines everywhere! Didn’t take longer than 10 minutes though.
We then made our way over to the massive crowd near the open corral. While we waited to enter the corral I ate a few of the Cytomax chews I brought with me for a caffeine boost. We were finally allowed to enter the corral around 7:20-30am. This was a pretty emotional part for me. My eyes started to well up. I was finally here after months of training and a nagging injury. Once we started to move in the corral my friend told me “Good luck! See you at the finish!”. After that it was a few minutes until I crossed the start line and I was off. It was pretty surreal moment running out of Dodger Stadium parking lot. I ran a very slow pace. I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my IT band. I kept looking at my Garmin to make sure I wasn’t running too fast.
Mile 1.5, my IT band started to scream at me. I slowed down to a jog. But that didn’t help. I had to walk, there was no other option. Occasionally I would try to run or jog. The pain prevented me from doing that. I walked.
I knew that if I dropped out I couldn’t until mile 7. Since that is where the drop out points started. I had a long ways to go until mile 7. Heartbreaking to be walking 2 miles in. I walked and listened to my music. There wasn’t much more I could do. I couldn’t enjoy myself. When spectators read my name off my bib and yelled “Go Westley!” it was hard not to burst into tears. My pace was slow – 20 minutes per mile. The slowest pace I have ever ‘ran’ in a race before. Going downhill or uphill made my IT band worse. I had to slow down even more from my slow pace just to make it up or down the hills.
Fast forward to mile 8.5. I saw an aid station to my right. I thought maybe some Ibuprofen would dull the pain. Maybe it would help me run. I knew that there wouldn’t be an aid station for a few more miles. I stopped, grabbed two and chased it with some water. Off I went, slowly.
Mile 9.5 , he pain didn’t dull or going away. I had to drop out. There was no way I could keep this up for 16.7 more miles. I decided that the next aid station I see that I would drop out.
Mile 10.5, I stopped at the aid station and told the volunteers that I needed to drop out. They told me that the shuttle back to the start line would be there soon. At this point it was 10:30am. I only covered 10.5 miles in two hours and fifty minutes. Weeks ago I ran 18 miles in two hours and thirty four minutes. Super disappointed. But I had to drop out. This was my first DNF (Did Not Finish) ever.
The shuttle arrived at about 11:15am. Me and 6 other people boarded. I managed to get a half hour nap on the shuttle. We arrived in Santa Monica about 12:15pm and a ways from the finish line. I followed the stream of people to the start line since I had no idea where I was in Santa Monica. I had to find my gear. I asked a volunteer and they told me I had to go into the finisher area to retrieve it. This was absolutely the last place I wanted to be. I entered the finishers area. Saw all the happy (and hurt) finishers displaying their medals proudly. I heard the clank of the two medals – the LA Marathon 2013 medal and the LA/SF Challenge medal. Both of which I hoped to earn that day. But I didn’t. I couldn’t stand to look at the medals. I got my gear and got out of that area as fast as I could.
After some texts and phone calls, I finally found my friend. He was happy about finishing and displayed his medal proudly. Honestly it was hard to be happy for him. I was too down on myself to get past that. I really wanted to get out of Santa Monica. I couldn’t stand to be there.
Later that evening I finally had a beer, which was the first one I had in 42 days. It didn’t taste as good as I expected.
Prior to the race I had ideas of what it would be like to finally cross the finish line. Getting my medals and buying a finisher hoody to display how proud I was of myself. It just wasn’t in the cards this time. I always say that everything happens for a reason.
I will get my revenge. Definitely running LA Marathon in 2014. And maybe the Long Beach marathon or Seattle marathon this year? We’ll see. I’m not giving up!
I want to thank everyone for their support before, during and after the marathon. I can’t thank everyone enough!
I’ve been wanting to run a race in Los Angeles for awhile now. I thought about the Rock N Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, but it didn’t fit into my schedule. Then I heard a lot of chatter on twitter that the LA Marathon registration was opening on October 1st. The race would fit perfectly into my schedule since it is on Sunday, March 17th!
So I thought about it and and thought it…and now I’m officially registered for the LA Marathon!
Training will be a bit challenging since it is during the cold, rainy and sometimes snowy (yes, it does sometimes snow in Seattle!) months.