Wednesday, March 21, 2012

LA Marathon: Afterthoughts

Well, it's been a few days now since I ran the LA Marathon. Guess I should write some of my thoughts on the whole event as I reflect on it now from a distance.

My Race

I'm still quite proud of how I ran the race. I didn't meet either of my time goals but I'm still happy nevertheless. I set a PR and even though I only beat my previous best by 26 seconds, as a friend said to me after the race - a PR is a PR. Still, I did well to keep it all together in the end. When I was at 22 miles, I felt great mentally. Physically of course it's always going to be difficult but mentally I was strong. Even at Miles 23 and 24, when I'd had difficult thoughts before, thoughts of despair and frustration, this time I felt fine.

See, for me those distances are quite challenging. I've already done 23, 24 miles yes, but at the same time I've done those miles and I *still* have two to go. I kept reminding myself of the easy two-mile loop that I usually run by my house and how that's really nothing to me, and I believe it helped me stay strong. That and Kuuipo racing past me and pushing me really helped me meet my goal. No, not my time goal but my goal of staying mentally strong right through to the finish line.

Kiss Speed Goodbye?

My speed... ha. My big pie-in-the-sky goal for marathons is to finish one in under four hours. I have no delusions of ever running Boston, no way no how, but I think a sub-four is possible. Well, thought anyway. I'm not quite certain though if that's an attainable goal. Just not sure. I do want to give it my all at least once, and by "my all" I mean in training not just in the race. I'd like once to train properly, with speed workouts, eat the right foods, cross-train and hit the miles hard. Well, I say that - or write that in this case - and I don't know if I want to do that, if it's worth my time. Maybe I should focus more on finishing marathons and running as many as I can do in a year without putting myself at risk. I mean, honestly, if I had to choose whether I could run four marathons in a year and finish them all between 4:20-4:30 or to run one and finish in 3:59:00, I honestly think I'd opt to run four rather than one. Honestly, I think I'd choose that nine out of 10 times.

I'm not going to throw in the towel on my speed; don't get me wrong. But I just think I should concentrate on slowly improving my time while completing more marathons and upping my mileage. That's all.

What's Next?

My next race, no matter what I write next, will be on April 22 as I'll run the Run Through Redlands half marathon.

I wish I could stop there though and then go on about Fontana and San Francisco.

But no.

I'm actually considering something else after Redlands, something that would be quite challenging. I'm considering the OC Marathon. As in the OC full marathon. As in another 26.2 miles just six weeks after LA.

I really don't know why. No, scratch that, I do know why. I'm addicted to chasing after glory. And the challenge only a marathon can present. In some ways, I want to prove to myself that I can do it again, that Sunday was no fluke. Of course I'm not thinking that I had some awesome time Sunday or that I will have an even more awesome time in OC. I actually think it would be difficult to PR given the short amount of time between the two races. But in some ways that makes it more challenging and honestly alleviates some of the pressure. I won't have to try for a PR but that makes it more difficult because finishing will be harder than it was in LA.

I've given myself until March 30 to decide. Prices go up after that, and either I'm going to sign up for it and take the plunge or I will focus on my half marathons and then San Francisco instead. I'll be playing mental ping-pong until then.

More Pictures!!

Turns out there were more pictures of me from the LA Marathon. I think there were overall some 25 pictures, which is an awesome haul. I might consider buying all of them. For now, though, here's more of the ripped pics.

Cruising along early on.

Is that a camera I see?

Why yes, it is a camera! Hi camerman!

I originally had feared my finish line pictures had not come out but I was wrong.

Glory is mine!

And I can stop running now.

So I had thought of a different pose for the finish but in the end I opted to have my arms at my side and just indulge in the moment. I really felt like my arms were close to my head and out in front of me. Crazy how messed up your sense of things like that is at the end of marathons. I've had times where I though my arms were one way but they were quite another... anyway, I went with this pose. I purposely closed my eyes. Oh and that hand in my pic is Kuuipo so I don't mind it at all being in there. It will serve as a reminder the kind of race I ran - one where I ran with others and was mostly concerned about that, which is and was and will always be a good thing.


Angelina said...

The OC after LA turn around started my dissent to being burned out with running.
But, if anyone can do it, you can!

Whitney said...

I love your face in the "Hi Cameraman" picture. I hope I get that face when you see me through a crowd in Disney. :)

IHellaLoveRunning said...

Good job on finishing! And I agree, a PR is a PR even its only 28 secs. I would love to run a sub 4 marathon as well...good luck with your future runs