Win It Wednesday! LA Marathon

I’m partnering with the Los Angeles Marathon to share my story with the race.  I have received complementary entry in exchange for this & other posts.  As always, my opinions are  my own.

The 2019 race will be my 5th time running LA.  Sean will be running his 8th LA Marathon.  It’s the one race (outside of Tahoe 200) that we run every year.

My first time running LA was back in 2015 for the 30th Anniversary.  It was also the last time that Asics was the main sponsor & it was incredibly hot!  I remember that the race seemed to go really fast because they had these huge pop-ups at each aid station that you could see in the distance.  Recap here.

LA Marathon, Los Angeles, California, Marathon, 30th anniversary, lululemon, altra running, medal

2016 was the year of the Olympic Trails which was so fun!  It was so hot that day, unfortunately for the elites. The marathon was on Valentine’s Day this year which was kind of cool.  We thought it was going to be super hot like the day before, but it was actually pretty nice that day. Olympic Trails RecapRace Recap.

2017 was a rough year, my hamstring tendonitis was coming to a head and I struggled big time this year.  It was a little cooler this year too & the finish was kind of foggy.  Recap here.

2018 I went in not really knowing how things were going to go.  I was back from my injury and I wanted to run strong.  It wasn’t a perfect race, but it was my best time yet on this course & finally ran under 4:30!  Recap here.

2019… My original goal was to try to go sub 4 this year.  But with all the issues I’ve been having this month, I’m not sure that is realistic at this point so I will see where I am in March and if running for time isn’t in the cards, I’ll run for fun.  And this race is a lot of fun!

So who wants to run the LA Marathon in March?

Giveaway is for one entry to the LA Marathon in Los Angeles on March 24, 2019.  Travel is not included.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

2019 Coldwater Rumble Race Recap

I going to be honest, I’ve been struggling this year.  After a really amazing 2018, this year has not been nearly as awesome so far.

I have been having some breathing issues lately which is making running hard.  I went into Coldwater Rumble knowing that this was going to be a challenge, but I would go out there and do my best!

We flew into Phoenix on Thursday evening, both Sean & I had to work on Friday and ended up being really busy so we didn’t have time to get to the packet pick-up on Friday like we normally do.

We did have time to get some pre-race pizza from Mod Pizza near our hotel.  Sean & I went there last year as well & it’s probably the last time he ate pepperoni before going vegan.

We got our gear out, I love taking #flatjenny photos because it means that I have all my gear ready & waiting for me on race morning.

Since we were close to the start, we didn’t have to get up too too early.  The 100 mile, that Sean was running, started at 7:00am so we left the hotel around 6:10a & got there within 10 minutes.

Estrella Regional Mountain Park does have a $7 entrance fee that you have to pay when you get to the park.  There wasn’t a long line when we got there so we were heading to the start area within minutes of arrival.

Aravaipa does a great job, they have a huge set-up at the start-finish area, with packet pick-up along with the timing tent & aid station.

We grabbed our bibs & shirts and then hit up the port-a-potties before setting up our drop bags & then hanging out with some friends before the race started.

I didn’t sleep well at all the night before, I feel like I might have slept at the beginning but then I was tossing and turning the rest of the night.  I wasn’t in a great mood, but I had plenty of time so I started my race fully expecting to run the full race.

The 52 mile starts at 7:30a and you do 2 – 20mile loops and finish off with a 3rd 12 mile loop.  Just like at Javelina they have you washing machine the loops so you mix it up.

I started out feeling decent, I was surprised to see that I was in the top 1/3 of the runners & barely anyone passed me in the first 10 miles or so, except Eric Senseman, who won the 52k & set a new course record & a few other 52k runners.  The 20 mile runners didn’t pass me until about mile 15 – Yay!! lol

I tripped a few times, this course has a few sections were there are a lot of rocks.  There are a few other sections with a lot of sand, but all in all it’s a pretty runnable course.

I was planning to be out there for a while so I wasn’t moving super fast.  I did end up having to work while I was out there, I had a trip that needed to be changed & so I called the agency to get it sorted & put my phone on speaker.  I ended up being on hold for over an hour!

I ran into Sean on his 2nd loop before the last aid station.  I was feeling a little tenderness in my shin from a when I tripped and kind of hyper extended my ankle.  oops.

I got to the last aid station, filled up and then headed out for the last 4 miles.  As I started running & walking this last section, I cheered on other runners.  This is my favorite part about running.  I love cheering everyone else on.  I was starting to get a headache around this point.  I was drinking a lot from my pack to try and get rid of it.  I thought maybe I was dehydrated so I wanted to get as much to drink as possible.

I made it down the mountain, I wasn’t moving super fast, but I was moving. I finished my first loop with a pretty bad headache.  I sat down by the drop bags for a few minutes to check my email – I had to do something for work again and as I was sitting there booking a hotel room, my headache just got worse & worse.

After a few minutes I decided that was it for me.  As I checked my email I saw I had a test result from my doctor.  I looked at it and I found out that I am slightly anemic which is probably why I’ve been having so many headaches lately & why my breathing has been so off.

I got some coffee & my free pizza from Freak Brothers Pizza that came with my entry.  After that and some water, I felt a little better.  I crewed Sean for the rest of his race & chatted with some new friends from Performance Tea.  I cheered other runners on & just enjoyed being out there.

I have no regrets, of course I would love to finish another 50 miler, but it wasn’t my day and that’s ok.  This year isn’t going to be as easy as last year, but it’s ok.  After I figure out a few health issues, I’ll be working hard to get back on track!

It was getting hot out when Sean came in from his second loop.  I helped him get ice in his bottles & he put lots of ice in his buff before heading out on loop 3.  Note: Always make sure to give your runner their headlamp before going out if they finish mid afternoon. Sean took his smaller headlamp & good thing because he came in after dark.

We switched out his headlamp, got him some more CarboPro & his pack.  He put on his headphones & started some podcasts.  It was around 7:30p when he left & he was going to try to be in around midnight.

I got another pizza for dinner & then went to take a short nap.  I set my alarm for 11:20p.  It wasn’t easy to sleep because they were playing music really loud but I think I drifted in and out for a bit before heading out to the start/finish area to watch for Sean.

I sat down next to this older lady, who was there crewing for her grandson.  She had crewed her son at Bigfoot 200 & Wasatch many times so she was a pro.  We chatted for a little bit and then Sean came in around 12:30a.  I got him some warmer clothes, just in case because it was getting cold out and some more CarboPro.  He had a little over 6 hours to finish in under 24 hours when he left at 12:40a.

I attempted to get a bit more sleep, they did turn the music down a bit so I was able to fall asleep eventually.  I set my alarm for around 4:30/45 so I would be up in plenty of time in case he decided to crush it this loop ;).

The moon was amazing, huge & right in front of the finish line so it made for an awesome back drop.

A few runners came in while I was waiting, but only maybe one or two that were finished.  We were waiting and waiting & then I saw him coming in!

Sean crushed it with a 23:05 finish which is faster than the last time he finished Coldwater back in 2016.  He was 5th overall & had a nice & easy training run.

We love Aravaipa races, they always do a great job, have good markings, although I did get off track 2x this race, fortunately I figured it out pretty quickly.

We will be back again, I’m sure of it :).

 

2019 SoCal Resolution Run – Half Marathon Recap

Yesterday, Sean & I ran the Resolution Run Half Marathon at Tecolote Shores as our first race of 2019.  This was our second time running this race & 12th edition of the Resolution Run.  If you’d like to read my recap from last year to see what was different click here.

This year, we decided last week to sign up, we found a great deal via a last minute discount website & gave it a go.  We picked up our packets, our bibs & race shirts, on Saturday at Road Runner Sports.  Quick & easy.

Sunday morning, we woke up a few minutes late so we left the house about 15 minutes later than  we did last year.  I ate my Picky Oats in the car, I’m really enjoying the apple version & have eaten them before my last 2 races.

We arrived at the start area around 6:30am, the half marathon started at 7:15am.  Since we were a little later than last year we had to park about 3/4 of a mile from the start area.  It was chilly out but the sunrise was super pretty!

We got our gear & walked to the start.  First stop once we got there was the port-a-potties.  There were maybe 10 or so, but one line for them all.  I think that there were a lot of newer runners at the race, which is fine & I’m so happy that people are out there running, but it does make for a bit of a chaos in the port-a-pottie situation.  There were too many for people to see when the doors were all open & then randoms were not standing in line, just jumping in at the ends because they didn’t realize there was a line.

Once we got done there it was less than 5 minutes until the start! We got our traditional pre-race selfie & then Sean headed to the front while I started a little further back.  I have been having some issues with my breathing while running lately and so I didn’t know what was going to happen & didn’t want to really push it.

I started out feeling good, just running easy on our way around Fiesta Island.  I saw my friend Henry, from Run619.  Henry is 73 years old and he runs faster than I do a lot of the time ;), it’s really inspiring & I hope to be still running when I’m 73.

I took a few photos of the beautiful sunrise over the city & after 2 miles started to run/walk. I was keeping pretty good pace considering and decided to just do that for the rest of the race.

There are 3 races, a half marathon, 10k & 5k.  The half & 10k start together but when you get to a parking lot the 10k turns around immediately while the half went for a little longer turnaround.  Then the half marathon heads back towards the start/finish where they have a second out and back section.

This section is on the sidewalk so there are a lot of other runners/cyclists/walkers so there was a lot of weaving around people.  But that was fine because I was just run/walking so I didn’t really care too much.  I saw the lead runner come through, then a few more before I saw Sean, I congratulated him & told him he was in the top 10, I didn’t recall exactly what place he was in but he was definitely in the top 10.  From this point on, I cheered everyone on that was coming back towards the finish.  It was fun, but I’m not sure how many people heard me since 90% of the people were wearing headphones.

I got to mile 9 and saw that there was a board on the other side so I turned to look at it to see what the distance was to the finish & it said mile 11.  I thought to myself, great so about a mile before the turn around.

I remembered from last year that we went over a little bridge, went a little ways out and then turned around.  This year, they had a volunteer before the bridge and turned us around there.  I think I was at maybe 9.6 miles? And then I got to the 11 mile sign at 10.19 miles.

I kept thinking maybe the signs were off, but I was almost a mile off for the rest of the race & officially finished the race with only 12.29 miles.  I know all GPS devices are not created equal, but I also know that we went over that bridge last year before we turned around.  But regardless it was a beautiful day & I had a good time.

I finished the race in 2:06, which considering my breathing issues lately was pretty good for me.  I only had 2 miles over 11minutes with a lot of run/walking so that’s a win too.

The medals were similar to last year with a little chalkboard for writing your goals.

They gave the best goodie bag I think I’ve ever gotten at a race.  Full size container of probiotics & a full size spray sunscreen in addition to a bunch of snacks, which were almost all vegan.

They had a good amount of sponsor tents, we missed the Suja Juice but were able to get huge cups of GT’s Kombucha on tap.  This was really cool, they had kombucha on tap on a van & I tried a new to me flavor that was amazing!

All in all we had a great morning, I was able to get another 13 miles for the Lululemon 40/80 challenge, I’ve only got 5k left!

I’d run this race again, it’s a nice low-key event with great support & sponsors.