THE LA MARATHON EXPERIENCE: POST MORTEM
Today’s 2014 Asics LA Marathon is run and done and looking back I can say three positive things about the race.
- I finished.
- I PR’d.
- I didn’t puke.
Now, refraining from vomiting is normally not among my main marathon goals, but given the race conditions, it was actually quite the achievement.
The other day I spoke about my goal of breaking the 5-hour barrier, unless my “best laid plans” went astray.
My plans didn’t go astray so much as they ended up being “charbroiled.”
I did not break the 5-hour barrier, but in hindsight I don’t think I need to beat myself up too badly.
See as a runner, you do your best to prepare for a race, but certain things are simply beyond your control.
Record breaking heat being among them.
The 2014 Asics LA Marathon will best be remembered as the “Helfire Marathon” where the temperatures spiked into the upper 80s. Over 1,000 of the 25,000 runners sought medical treatment during the race and about two dozen were taken to local hospitals for treatment for heat exhaustion.
As for me, given the heat this may well have been the most challenging race I’ve ever participated in. Things started out very well. I planned to take it easy over the first half, and then step on the gas in the second half to set myself up for a “negative split.”
In the first few miles, I zeroed in on my planned pace and was enjoying the whole experience… saying “hi” to friends, waving to spectators and reading their signs (some good ones out there today). I was firing on all cylinders and thought not only was I going to crush 5 hours, but I might also even go sub-4:45. At mile 13, I was right on target… even a little ahead of where I needed to be.
And then it happened.
While the day had started off on the warm side, the cloud cover kept things from getting too toasty. But around 9am, the clouds seemed to magically (and not in a good way) disappear, turning the Los Angeles basin into one gigantic “Easy Bake Oven.”
Within a matter of miles, my game plan shifted from “Plan A” to “Survival Mode.” I couldn’t eat (lest I got nauseated) and I was even having trouble handling liquids. Not good signs.
I did my best to hold it together, but around mile 21 the wheels really came of and all I could focus on was slowing my pace to a walk, just putting one foot in front of the other and hoping I finished before I passed out.
I was grateful for the presence of the T2 coaches who were strategically placed in the second half of the course to offer aid (and reassurance). They were lifesavers.
In the end, I crossed the finish line in Santa Monica, received my finisher’s medal and re-united with several of my T2 teammates at our tent. A tough race to be sure, but totally worth the effort.
So, wrapping up my 5th LA Marathon (6th marathon overall).
CHIP TIME– 5:13:10
CALORIES BURNED– 3,861
My chip time for the LA Marathon in 2013 was 5:38:13, so I did manage to shave 25 minutes off my time from last year (sauna and all).
Oh, and here’s the latest tally of money raised by Team to End AIDS:
And that’s the best news of the day.