LA Marathon XX 2005
Well, the weather was VERY cooperative. Sunny and warm and clear the whole race. No complaints there. I wish I had been in top condition. I have been fighting with a groin strain and a ankle problem for about 4 weeks, so I have really had to tone down my training in order to be able to compete today.
My time: 3:57 and the amazing thing is that another barefoot runner whom we did not see in the morning ran a 3:56! We were right next to eachother from the half-way point, but I never did see him. His name is Joe Seeley. Hi, Joe. Hope to meet you some day.
Since this was my first marathon, I was not totally prepared for how many people there were! Way too many. The barefoot group started at the back. Tat meant that we had to pass 1000s and 1000s of people (over 25,000 people!!!). I really didn't like that. I felt way to crowded most of the race. I had to spend way too much energy weaving in and out of people. Slowing down, speeding up...I really don't like that at all.
Those water lines were horrible. Some people would run up, grab a water and then STOP!!! Why? Don't do that!
Okay, I finally got into a nice pace around mile 5 or 6. If I could have held that pace, I think that I would have had a great marathon, but the training was lacking. My pace was real fine until mile 17 or 18. We hit some hills and then on a downhill, I got a sharp hamstring cramp. It stopped me cold. Normally, I don't get cramps cause I am drinking my Gookinaid religiously. Today, I was drinking plenty, but only water. I think that it didn't help. Started again more slowly, and then wham, another cramp. Walked for a little and then started up slow again. From about mile 19 on, I could not run much faster than a 10 minute pace. I had lost that beautiful light-footed feeling that I love to get while running.
From 20 on it was a struggle not to stop. I concentrated on form as much as it was possible. I attened Danny Dryers running clinic the day before at the Runners Expo at the LA Convention Center. He taught me one thing about holding the lower abs in a certain way that I had been doing wrong, and very well may have led to my strain 6 weeks ago.
Now Ken told me it is not a good idea to change form for the first time on marathon day, and I think he is right, but I decided that I might as well add this one thing to my style to prevent from causing further strain (the strain has healed a lot since I reduced my mileage and speed, but in turn lost my long-term endurance).
Okay, I did complain about all those people, the news said 25,000 people. That's a lot.
For example, we were so far back, I didn't get to the 10K mark until 1:12! I had a lot of time to make up.
The very COOL thing about LA is our culture. LA has EVERYTHING. As we ran through different neighborhoods, we were encouraged and supported with music and cheers. I mean people were cheering all the way through. LA fans are great. All that music was great, too. And folks were hosing us down. LA people are friendly when they are not on the Freeway (highway) or looking for a parking spot!!!
I am a bit sore now. I was too prideful to wear an ace bandage on my ankle, even though I should have. I hurt it on a trail run several weeks back. I really didn't want people pointing at my bandage and saying "See! You hurt yourself!". I won't make the mistake of letting pride get in the way of doing the right thing again. Got a painful ankle to prove the foolishness of that decision.
Oh my God, those last miles were hard. When I crossed the finishline, I started cramping and my head felt a little light. I hadn't had a thing to eat from start to finish other than a few hastily grabbed orange slices and a bit of banana. I started to eat one of those super sweet gooey things, but couldn't handle all that sweetness...yuk!
I also got a blister on one of my small toes. Not sure why. The bottoms of my feet are fine, i.e., normal. I was running through a lot of stuff, but most of the road was quite runnable. One section I do recall was 1927 concrete alignment which is some of the oldest auto roads in LA. I love that old concrete. It's smooth.
That's all for now.
Best, Barefoot Ted
8:25:40 AM start
Chip Time: 03:57:03