T-MINUS: 1 MONTH & COUNTING…

Los Angeles Marathon

2010 LA Marathon- I survived.

Today’s date, February 9th, 2014, is exactly one month until the Los Angeles Marathon. In just 28 days I’ll be pounding the pavement with 25,000 other leggers on the “stadium to the sea” course.

And I’m a little nervous.

Last week I ran my 25th half marathon (Surf City) and posted my best race time ever. While 13.1 miles is certainly nothing to sneeze at, I feel confident in my abilities when it comes to completing the half marathon. At this point, I’m working on increasing my pace in the hopes of breaking the 2-hour mark sometime this year. The half marathon doesn’t scare me anymore like it did the first time I laced up my shoes.

Not so with the marathon.

This will be my 6th marathon overall (5th time challenging LA) and I have to admit I still quite haven’t gotten the knack of running 26.2 miles yet. In my past 5 marathon races I’ve run into the wall each time… somewhere between miles 17-20. For each race my goal has been to break the 5-hour mark and I have yet to come close.

In the Chicago Marathon 2009 I managed to eventually break through the wall (posting my best marathon time to date- 5:16:52), but LA has gotten the best of me each time. Different strategies, same result. My plans fly off the rails and I end up walking a good chunk of the final miles. My goal switches from PR to posting a good time to just merely surviving. Each time in LA I’ve limped across the finish line going, “You win this time wall.”

I consider my marathon score to be: WALL- 4 / SCOTT- 1

2012 LA Marathon

At this point I wasn’t certain if I still had legs.

This year is different though; I’m in the best physical shape of my adult life, having dropped 50 pounds in the last six months and adding cross training to my workout regimen. My race times have been getting significantly faster for the past 4 months and I have a newfound spring in my step along with a chip on my shoulder.

But as I’ve learned the hard way, and repeatedly, the marathon can be a tricky beast.

I’ve completed a 17-mile training run and next week we handle our big celebration run of 23-miles. I currently train at a 10:00 min/mile pace and I ran the Surf City Half Marathon in 2:06:33 (9:40 min/mile). This sets me up for a predicted full marathon time between 4:35- 4:50. I should be able to shatter the 5-hour mark this year… key word being “should.”

I’m one month away from the LA Marathon and I’m a little nervous.

More on this to come as race day approaches…

Run on!

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Posted on February 9, 2014, in General, Motivation, Training. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. You got this, Scott, seems like you’re all set for a time well below 5 hours. I’ve only run two marathons, and both times it was brutal from mile 20 on. My ultimate goal is to run a sub 4-hour marathon at LA 2015. I’m doing SF this summer, but looking at that course profile, I’m sure 4 hours is well beyond my reach for that one. Good luck in LA!

    • Thanks…I feel more confident than ever, just trying to temper myself so I don’t push too hard too early and bonk in the latter half. Mile 20-26 is always a challenge (and I’ll be talking about that in a future post). From what I hear, SF is a bit of a bear of a course (lots of hills in the second half), LA I think is much more forgiving. Good luck in the chase for sub-4. Later!

  2. Sounds like you’ll be able to rock this one. Good luck.
    Those few weeks before a big race are so stressful.. I can’t believe I’m getting nervous already for a half in 3 weeks..

    • Thanks…I’m optimistic. I just need to make certain I don’t start off too quickly and bonk. And nervous energy has its uses. What race are you doing?

      • Im doing the Tel Aviv Half Marathon (there’s also a full and 10k) on February 28th.
        I’ve certainly learned my lesson about going off too fast.. that’s why I now plan my paces in advance and stick to them.
        Nervous energy doesn’t let me sleep.. not such a good thing.

      • Tel Aviv…wow, that sounds like a cool one. I’ve gotten better at not going out too fast, although it’s hard at times to rein in the competitor in me. And I do agree that nervous energy is an unwelcome annoyance when it comes to sleep. I do my best to deal with it too. I’ll be anxious to hear how your race goes.

      • I’m looking forward to hearing how your marathon went too. Tel Aviv should be cool, 25000 people though between the 3 distances… way above what I’m used to so that alone is intimidating.

  3. You’ll do just fine! I finally broke the 5hr mark last year, and boy was that a relief. I’ll be at LA too!! I’m hoping to run around 4:30 or so this time. Two years ago I ran this, and it was 5:03. Maybe I’ll see you there amongst the sea of thousands of others! =p HM#5542/MM#8556

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence. The 5-hr mark has been the running monkey on my back. I definitely feel that this is my year to beat the mark, but I’ll believe that when I cross the finish line and see a “4” in the hour column. I’ll catch you on the course in LA (26 days and counting)… and thanks for reading.

  4. Wow! Very proud of you! 50 pounds!!!!!! That’s a huge accomplishment in itself and you look FANTASTIC!!!!!Good luck on your next marathon. Nervousness is Normal. Huh….that would make a great sign!!!

    • Thank you very much…it was a lot of hard work, but totally worth it. Of course I did have to toss out my entire wardrobe, but it’s nice to be able to wear tight clothing.

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