Wake Up and Bike Tour
Sleeping in my own bed (or a bed at all) makes getting up at 5am a little easier. Squeeze down some leftover pasta for breakfast and hang out with the people meeting here to ride to the bike tour. Throw all my running shit in my bag. Decide to wear my running shorts under my cargo pants and forgo spandex to avoid having to change later. Roll out of the house about 8 deep heading to USC.
Straight to the start! We hop in and try to stay together. Imagine the streets closed to all traffic, both directions for 23 miles. Amazing, despite the thousands of bikes that literally caused a traffic jam. It opened up and we cruised through the city running into people we knew all the way back to USC. Here we pull over just before the funnel into where they try to get you to buy shit. Jack and I head up the 25 blocks to the marathon start where I’ll lock my bike.
25,000 people run the marathon. The start time was 830am. I thought it would take a decent amount of time to get them through, but when I was there at 845am or so it was only a trickle a people heading down Figueroa! Jack takes my bag, I lock my bike and strip off my clothes (well, except my running stuff) and take off. The hectic morning was probably helpful; was distracted enough to not get super nervous about the endeavor ahead. But, two things came up: probably did not eat enough beforehand and I had to pee when I started running. That sucks. Really sucks.
First Ten Miles
‘There’ll be restrooms soon. Soon. There’s got to be.’ First group of them had at least 75 people in line. Same with the second group around the second mile. Am considering peeing myself. Is my time that important? No, but the mental consequences of standing around for ten minutes are detrimental. Pushing on I hold back. Around USC I see some dudes that took to the trees to solve the urination problem. I look around for cops (cause if anyone got a ticket during a marathon it’d be me) and see none. I hit the trees nervously and pee for an ungodly amount of time. Running again I feel ten pounds lighter like the Ice Cube song. Around mile seven or eight the hunger comes on. Damn! I have two gel packs and consume one. It helps slightly, but not much. On a positive note my legs are loosening up and I try to ignore the hunger. At mile ten I see volunteers handing out Clif shots and I eat three straight away.
Miles Ten to Twenty
Calories = Energy. This was immediately apparent. Turn left on Venice Blvd and I’m feeling great, but still pacing conservatively. Mentally I am pleasantly surprised that I am doing well. Hit the halfway point (2 hrs 5 min) and see Alex! He is on his bike and rides along asking me how I am doing. Sometime after I answered my cell phone because Heather, who is running the marathon as well and helped me with my bib ‘situation’, called to see where I was. We never met up, but did see each other later at Food Not Bombs. The Angelinos along the route were fantastic, giving out fruit and cheering on runners. The best bit was through Leimart Park and up Crenshaw Blvd.
Twenty to Twenty-Six (point 2)
Jack agreed to meet me around mile 20 because I thought some Sustained Energy would be good to drink. It was! He had met up with Alex as well and the two of them rode along. Since I started so late I am passing tons of people and it gives the impression that I am running faster than I am. Having two friends bike along was super fun, like I had my own escort. Since they both qualify as real athletes, they were pushing me along and my pace quickened. Then, anticlimactically, downtown was in view, I was feeling well, and they had to peel off. My right foot was aching, as it did on my 3-hour training run, but I ignored it. Pushed on through and went as fast as I could for the last 1.2 miles. Crossed the line, looked at my cell phone to confirm my time, and hobbled to a stop.
The finish area sucked. No food. Was funneled all the way around to 2nd street through the market to buy things before I could head south to where my bike was. Foot pain started to kick in (I’d end up limping for two weeks and seeing a doctor, but no injury). Met up with Jack, Alex and Molly, who had made, in perfect teacher fashion, a fantastic sign. We sat around downtown eating and drinking before riding back to the A-house for some proper food. Great day. Time: 4.04