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    MAGGIE805   42,019
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The ASICS Los Angeles Marathon: My First Marathon

Monday, March 18, 2013

Back in August 2012 I made the decision to start training for my first full marathon. For me, it seemed like a natural progression from running 5k's to a couple of half marathons. I did a lot of research into training programs, runners diets and exercise regimes. I was diligently working hard until I had to go back to teaching in September. Five a.m. runs are not fun and I stuck to it, trying to work around not only my schedule, but everyone else's.

Then October was here before I knew it and on the first of October 2012 I registered for my first marathon and wanted it to be special. I picked my hometown marathon that I have watched faithfully on local TV since it's been televised...

The Los Angeles Marathon.

Fast forward to March 2013 with the training complete, my body was ready, but mind was not. Running is very much a mental sport and I struggled with it. My biggest fear was failure because I had convinced everyone around me I'm going to do this and see this to the finish. The one person I had a hard time convincing was myself. By this time I was mentally and physically tired. I started to lose faith in myself and my training.

Marathon weekend had finally arrived....finally. My "athletic supporters"; aka, the family, and I drove down on the 16th to Santa Monica to check out the finish and then jumped onto the 10 east towards Downtown LA.

The Westin Bonaventure Hotel (our lodgings for the night)

Outside the Staples Center. Don't let the blue sky and sunshine fool you. It was a chilly 76*....brrrrr. ;)

At the Los Angeles Convention Center for packet pick-up and Asics Expo (title sponsor of the marathon this year)

With my bib and at the finish, sort of.

We stopped at Target for some munchies for the next morning and then to CPK for some serious carb loading. Then buenos noches, Margarita, early morning wake-up...4:00 a.m.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, LA!!!

It's 4:00 a.m in LA and we are headed down to the shuttle that will take me to the start at Dodger Stadium. Then the fam heads off to Santa Monica.

It was cool that they opened up the ballpark to use as a staging area just to sit and relax a bit in the bleachers.

Sorry about the sideways pics. I was using my iPad to type this blog and sometimes it has a mind of it's own. :/

We got a proper St. Patricks Day in LA send off with Irish bagpipes, an American Idol contestant singing the National Anthem and Randy Newman singing "I Love LA".

Mile 1 - 3: The Sunset Gate at Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, and Olvera St. Feeling good.

Mile 4-6: Little Tokyo, City Hall, Disney Concert Hall, and a really BIG hill First St. Onto Echo Park and potty break. Feeling a little winded, but still in good spirits. The crowds cheering us on were awesome.

Mile 7-10: Sunset Blvd and the Asics Support Your Marathoner board. I stepped on an electronic mat and a message of support popped up from my cool! Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory. The gel I took at Mile 6 wasn't doing it's job, so thank you, to the City of Silverlake for the orange slices and candy.

Mile 10-13: Hollywooooooood!!!!!! Pantages Theatre, Walk of Fame, El Capitain Theatre, Dolby Theatre and Gruamanns. Toes were starting to go numb at this point and I slowed down my pace from a 10:30 to a 12:00.

Mile 13-16: Back onto Sunset, the Trobadour, Whiskey-A-Go-Go, West Hollywood and cheer leading drag queens, awesome. Beverly Hills, fancy schmancy. The Niketown volunteers were out to help keep the pace and to boost the morale. In n Out Burger on Doheny was looking really good, but I stuck to the Cliff Bar.

Mile 17: Window shopping on Rodeo Dr. , maaaaaahvolous daaaaaaahliiing.

Mile 18-20: I just about lost my mind and questioned my sanity. But seeing the best of humanity being played out on the course today with random acts of kindness kept me from pulling out the $20 in my pocket and jumping on the bus to Santa Moncia. At the VA Hospital at this point and a 14:00 min pace.

Mile 20: My faith in my training and myself restored when a message from my school popped up on the Asics board. I will finish this!

Mile 21-23: I've lost all feeling in my feet, my hands are swollen, my quads were screaming at me, my eyes were getting a little blurry and that nice ocean breeze was turning very chilly. Century City, Brentwood, Westwood and Palisades Park.

Mile 24: I saw Jesus! Seriously, a guy with long hair, a beard, sandals, and a robe walking along the course. I knew I must have reached Santa Monica.

Mile 25-26: I rounded the corner onto Ocean Ave with Coldplay's Fix You (my favorite song) on the iPod. I saw my family and I was just overcome with emotion. I was smiling through the tears when I crossed the finish and into the arms of my equally emotional family.

From the Stadium to the Sea.

It was said to me once that after one runs a marathon your life changes. The way I look at my life now is a lot different than how I looked at on Saturday. Things in my life thought were overwhelming or impossible are really not. I did something on Sunday that I once thought was impossible and made it possible.

This experience has taught me to be consistent, patient and to have faith. Have faith in the process, work hard, and never give up. What kept me going on Sunday were the cheering crowds, volunteers, SRLA kids, a rockin' playlist, cool bands, fellow runners, family, friends, students and the trust in my training. The power of the human spirit is awesome and can do some pretty amazing things.


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
DRADDIE 2/27/2014 5:54PM

    Thanks for sharing! I'm psyching myself up for my first by reading other's firsts!! Fabulous and well done!

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LISAINMS 4/11/2013 11:14PM

    Loved reading this blog! (Sorry I'm so far behind). You always have such a great story to tell. Enjoyed following along with you and I'm so happy for your accomplishment.

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YB0511 3/24/2013 7:11AM

    Congratulations to you! All the hard work and early mornings were worth it. Sounds like an amazing experience!

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1BEACHWALKER 3/20/2013 4:56PM

    I knew you could do it!!! emoticon
On the Jimmy Kimmel show a couple nights ago, they showed a corespondent who went there and was on Mile 11, doing funny things like handing out bottles that were nailed down and people running by would grab at them! Giving out jello shots and green jello covered shrimp! I watched for you!
Very inspiring your journey to get to this point!! emoticon
emoticon for sharing it with us!!

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CMERUN29 3/20/2013 9:42AM

    Congrats on your first marathon! What a great race report. I just started training for my first marathon which will be in July and I'm hoping I have as great an experience as you did.


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DURANGOREDDOG 3/20/2013 1:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/19/2013 7:29PM

    emoticon Job well done. You are awesome!

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AMANDEES76 3/19/2013 5:49PM

    I couldn't even read this Blog without tearing up so I can imagine the emotions that you were feeling on Sunday. I knew you could do it and I have been watching for a Blog post since Sunday so that I could tell you how proud I am of what you accomplished. emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 3/19/2013 1:58PM

    Okay your descriptions make me want to sign up for LA even though I've said I'll never do a full. I woke up on Sunday thinking about you and sending well wishes your way. I'm so glad you had such a positive experience for your first!

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ASHLING9 3/19/2013 11:23AM

  I was training for my first marathon a few years ago before I hurt my back. I've been struggling with the idea of running again and this time do it right. Start small and work my way up, lots of stretching, etc. This post has really motivated me to do it! Running a marathon use to be a big goal of mine, why can't is still be?? emoticon

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REMCMFA 3/19/2013 11:17AM

    Congrats!! emoticon

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JACKIE542 3/19/2013 11:05AM

    Congratulations! You did it. emoticon

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ROBYNLN 3/19/2013 11:01AM

    emoticon emoticon Great blog on a race well run. You are inspiring me to continue in my quest for a 1st marathon. emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 3/19/2013 10:31AM

    Your words are exactly what mine were after the marathon. Wow, I can do anything!

Congrats on your amazing accomplishment.

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JOPAPGH 3/19/2013 10:29AM

    I run my third in May. The first was a learning experience, and much harder for me than the second.

Loved trekking through the neighborhoods with you. Welcome to the marathon club!

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KALIGIRL 3/19/2013 10:23AM

    "This experience has taught me to be consistent, patient and to have faith."
Doesn't get much better than that emoticon

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BOILHAM 3/19/2013 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PDQ1203 3/19/2013 9:51AM


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HEIDI-25 3/19/2013 9:50AM

    Great job!

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ANDY_54 3/19/2013 9:25AM

    Big congratulations to you! An awesome report!

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MIZZKINS 3/19/2013 9:23AM

    Wow, what a great adventure. I love how it inspired and changed you. Thanks for the lovely words and beautiful pictures!


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FITFOODIE806 3/19/2013 8:58AM

    Congrats!!!! You are a marathoner. This had me in tears. Running is such a powerful thing. Things for sharing your race with us.

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GYMRAT_AT44 3/19/2013 8:52AM

    Fantastic accomplishment. I know you are very proud and dang well should be. Congrats!

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ONMYMEDS 3/19/2013 8:40AM

    Congratulations, great job, great blog.

And I see you already signed up for another. Awesome!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 3/19/2013 8:24AM

    Beautifully done! Congratulations!!!! emoticon

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SEABREEZE65 3/19/2013 8:20AM

    What an awesome race report. I loved reading every word. I liked the area by area commentary too!

Congratulation on becoming a marathoner. What a fantastic achievement.
Enjoy your recovery.


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PMRUNNER 3/19/2013 5:47AM

    Way to go! I loved reading your race report! I love how, through the struggle and pain, there is joy!

Enjoy your well earned recovery! Is it too soon to ask, will there be another one? (Your title does say "My first marathon")

(I just saw on your board that you signed up for Tulsa in Nov! Excellent, not only are you a marathoner, you are certifiable - but in the best possible way! Best of luck on your training and goals!)

Comment edited on: 3/19/2013 8:49:06 AM

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ROSAMARCELLE 3/19/2013 4:31AM

    emoticon We knew you would pull out all the stops and finish. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 3/19/2013 3:06AM

    Way to go!!!! Felt like I was there as I read about your first marathon. You did great! Love the pictures!

Well...what was your favorite sign??

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BUBBLEJ1 3/19/2013 2:24AM

    WELL DONE! You rock, lady! Very, very inspiring

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RORYLYONS 3/19/2013 1:51AM

    I got a tear in my eye reading your blog.... emoticon so proud of you... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APED7969 3/18/2013 11:47PM

    Awesome job! It is such a great feeling to be done :-) You must be so proud!

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BLESSED2BEME 3/18/2013 11:25PM

    I am crying! I read every word and felt like I was there! Amazing!

Burr, 76 degrees? Are you kidding? It is 32 here. We'd scream for 76! emoticon

I am so proud of you and so excited to renew my commitment to properly train for my next 5K (even though it is in less than 2 weeks).

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HLTHYRNRMOM 3/18/2013 11:07PM

    Great blog!! emoticon hey marathoner, you rock! Hope to do this race someday.. I felt so emotional reading this as I am about to embark on my marathon training ..eek! WAY TO GO!

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FREES1 3/18/2013 10:41PM

    Great blog
Gorgeous smile
And cheerleading drag queens
What could be better?
Congrats Maggie. .. you're awesome and now you know it too!

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DARLY55 3/18/2013 10:27PM

    Amazing! I have the highest regard for your discipline, determination and perseverence. You are a marathoner! emoticon emoticon

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BEATLETOT 3/18/2013 10:23PM

    Congratulations!!!! I'm so proud to know you! =)

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KANDOLAKER 3/18/2013 10:19PM

    Big congratulations to you!! Your blog and photos are just awesome. You tell the good and the bad of running 26.2, Kudos to you and thanks for the inspiration!!





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