Congratulations to all of our runners and thanks to everyone who supported us!

As I sit here in my chair typing this blog, knowing that I will need to use my arms to push myself up afterward because my quads are far too sore to do it on their own, I can’t help but reflect on the last six months. You all worked so hard, and I am so proud of each of you.  Today’s heat made the course exceptionally challenging. You all knew it would be even tougher than a typical marathon which is already hard enough, and not one of you changed your mind at the last minute.  You all faced this challenge together, and that is so awesome.

No matter how well you prepare for something and how much you plan ahead, life sometimes throws you a curveball.  What’s most important is what you do when that happens.  Do you quit?  Do you pretend that didn’t happen and push on recklessly?  Or, do you adjust your approach, then tackle the challenge head on, and still try your best?  That third choice is what each of you did, and I hope each of you is very proud of your choice and your accomplishment today.  I saw some of you after the race, but not everyone, and would be so happy to hear from all the rest of you about how the day went.  If you’d like to send me an email, my address is leslie.gold@cox.net.  Otherwise I look forward to hearing your stories at the Marathon Shabbat.

I also want to give a special thank you to everyone who made today possible – all of our runners, our volunteers and Marathon staff, and everyone who came out to support us at the booth and along the way.  You made this a special day for each of us.  I look forward to seeing all of you again during the 2015-16 Marathon season.

 

My last bit of advice before the big day

As I’m sure you’ve observed, I am not a big fan of running with headphones on.  I could try to convince you of the benefits of running without them on Sunday, but I know that’s not going to fly.  So, let me suggest instead that you either turn the music down low, or run with just one earbud in.  I encourage you not to miss the opportunity to fully take in the sounds and the energy of the crowd.  If prior years are a predictor of the crowd support we’ll have on Sunday, it will be amazing.  Enjoy it to the max.

There will be people lining the entire course, supporting you in so many ways.  The Japanese drummers will power you up the hill at the Disney Concert Hall, a long line of Dream Center folks will cheer you on in Echo Park, drag queens will welcome you to West Hollywood,  hundreds of cheerleaders will be shouting and jumping as you run through Cheer Alley near Mile 18, the BTS booth is at Mile 19, and the crowds along Ocean Boulevard will be huge.  You’ll feel  like a rockstar as you run those last yards to the finish line. There will also be dozens of bands all along the course, and regular people who  blast their stereos.   You will  also see all sorts of  inspirational signs.  Some of my favorites from prior years include “the only reason your feet hurt is because you are kicking ass”, “Chuck Norris never ran a marathon”, “I don’t know you, but you inspire me”, and, at mile 20, “Humpty Dumpty had wall issues too.”  (That last one wasn’t particularly inspiring, but it made me laugh, and I sure needed a good laugh by then.) And, if you are ever feeling low on energy, run over to the side with your hand up.  People will give you high fives, and many will call you by name, assuming that’s what’s on your bib.  It will be incredibly uplifting.

You all worked so hard to get here.  Have an incredible day that you will always remember.

Plan ahead so you will be prepared on Marathon day

Hi,

Over the next two weeks, we will be sending you information about what to eat and drink, and how much running to be doing between now and the big day, but there is more you need to think about so you will arrive ready to do your best.

1) Decide what you’ll wear when you are running:  Twenty-six miles is a long way, and as you probably discovered on your longer runs, those minor annoyances can become bigger problems.  For example, choose your most comfortable socks so you can avoid blisters.  If some shorts chafe, don’t wear them.  Guys, if you need bandaids, make sure to pack them.  And, don’t wear running shoes you just bought, unless it is the same model you’ve been wearing.  It’s also good to have a plan if the forecast calls for rain.

2) Decide what you’ll carry during the race and how you’ll carry it:  Race day is not the time to try out that new belt you bought at the expo to carry your keys, GU, money, credit card, ID, cell phone, water bottles, or whatever else you’d like to have with you.  Remember, while there will be water and sports drinks every mile, and some other snacks at various points, this may not be what you want to eat and drink, when you want to eat or drink it.  Think about what you’ll want with you and how you’ll carry it, then go out and run a few miles carrying it all to be sure there are no surprises.

3) Have a plan for getting your recovery drink at the end of the race: Will a family member or friend meet you at the finish line and give it to you?  Will you buy something at the expo or in a nearby store, and if that’s the plan, will you have money?  Last year, I incorrectly assumed that they’d be handing out protein drinks as I crossed the finish line, like they did the previous year, but if they were, I never found them.  I waited at the finish line for a few hours for people to finish and didn’t get any protein into me until almost 4 hours later.  On Wednesday that week, I went to the gym and it was a struggle just to step up onto the treadmill.  I had to use my arms to pull myself up, and it was pretty embarrassing. Talk about a lesson learned the hard way.  I can assure you that I have a much better plan for getting that post-race recovery drink into me a whole lot sooner.

4) Avoid scheduling any late night activities a few days before the run:  To those of you staying at the hotel Downtown, we will need to be out the door and on the bus well before 6am.  If you’re not normally an early riser, you may want to consider going to sleep early for the last few nights before the marathon so you can get up earlier.  Then, by Marathon morning, it will be easier to wake up feeling full of energy and ready to go.

5) Non-residents, figure out your transportation and parking.  How will you get to Downtown and how will you get home?  Will you take the shuttle back to Downtown and return home from there, or will you leave from Santa Monica?  Overnight parking Downtown isn’t cheap, and  overnight parking in Santa Monica anywhere near the finish line is not easy to find, if it is exists at all.  Consider making arrangements with friends or family to drop you off and/or pick you up, or check into the public transportation.  Also, if you will leave from Santa Monica, and you stayed at the hotel, you may wish to bring your belongings to the pre-race Gear Check to pick them up at the end.  If you are doing the half-marathon, be asware that there are no mid-race shuttles, so have a plan if you won’t be taking advantage of BTS transportation.

6) Get your throwaway warm clothes: Read my post from last week.

7) Plan a good lunch for Saturday and eat it:  Don’t arrive at the Expo on Saturday afternoon thinking you’ll enjoy all the free samples they’ll be handing out.  Do you really want to find out on Sunday morning that something didn’t agree with you?  Have a good high carb lunch with foods you know your body likes.