First it was the cold that I picked up while in Austin for SXSW. Then it was my iPhone that got corrupted during a software update that wiped out the marathon playlist that I had built over the past few months including 100 motivational songs, and of course, there was my shin splint in my left leg, and something that could be either serious or minor in my right knee that I’m supposed to have MRI’ed(haven’t done it yet). But that wasn’t going to stop me. No, no. I set my alarm for 3:50am, Dominic had room service deliver coffee at 4am, and I was off on the shuttle bus at the start line at 5:30am determined to finish and do my very best.
The weather forecast called for heavy rain on marathon Sunday, but as runners huddled in Dodger Stadium, only a light shower passed by before the horn went off at 7:44am to start the race. As we entered ChinaTown, full of adrenelin and enthusiasm, the first rains started to fall. Ahh, this feels good! Nice and refreshing! The rains stopped, then started, then, Noah decided to show up with his ark as I saw him float by in the roads that became rivers in LA. Holy floodzone, Batman! Runners stretched out their arms in submission to the rain gods that soaked us to the core over and over again. Then the winds showed up, bringing down the mile markers throughout the course so you didn’t know how far you’d run.
Although us runners felt a bit sorry for ourselves, looking like drowned rats scrambling for dry land, I really felt sorry for the volunteers who struggled with inside-out umbrellas as they stretched out their arm to offer us water, Gatorade, slices of oranges, bananas, Clif bars, and even Yakult! They were soaked and shivering, but were intrepid as they stood their ground to make sure we were supported.
I never realized that cold, wet, weather brings on cramps and hypothermia so quickly. At one point, I reached over to turn down my music so I could hear the crowds better and I was immediately struck by a massive cramp down my right side. I struggled with that cramp while another developed in my right shoulder. As I was happily enjoying a downhill section of the race around mile 24 or so, I was fighting several cramps in my thighs and shins. Geez! I’ve never had so many cramps at one time in my life. I kept telling myself to relax and just take it easy. They would subside, but if I tried to accelerate, they’d come back again, so I just kept my pace slow and steady.
A very welcome surprise was the face of Joon appearing around mile 20. The last 6 miles were really hard for me, so having her cheer me on and run with me gave me an energy boost that left a smile on my face!
On Ocean Avenue, the home stretch, I could see the finish line in the distance, but I had to get through the driving race that stung my eyes and cheeks. Street blockades slid across the road with the force of the wind, almost clipping a few runners in front of me. Most spectators didn’t have umbrellas by then – why even try when Mother Nature was going to win anyway.
Crossing the finish line, I looked over and saw Dominic, Robert and Min cheering me on! As they took a picture, I tried to pose which caused my left butt cheek to cramp. I’ve never had a cramp there before, but let me tell you, it hurts!
I didn’t earn a PR or a BQ, but I gave it my best and survived brutal weather for 26.2 miles. And as you can see from this chart, I actually didn’t do so bad!
Thanks to everyone who supported me, my charity – Freedom Is Not Free, and sent me good vibes. I really needed every ounce of your energy to get through this one! My muscles are super sore but my heart is happy and full of gratitude. Thanks again.