Saturday, March 6, 2010

i love l.a. (marathon)

ten years ago i ran the l.a. marathon with my sister. it was my second and her first. we trained for it together and ran every step side-by-side. it piss poured rain until mile 18, but sharing that experience with her was great!

like i said, it poured rain the whole time!

but doing it together was the best!

i didn't think much of the l.a. course. i couldn't understand why it didn't go from downtown to the beach. after running it i said that unless they made it a point-to-point course, i wouldn't bother running it again. lo and behold last year they announced that they would be moving the race to a point-to-point course in 2010. there were a lot of multi-city hoops to jump through, but i knew if it all got approved, i was in!

one day, over pedicures, i mentioned the potential new course to my sister. mind you before our marathon experience i had, for the most part, been a couch potato and my sister had been a runner. post-marathon i continued running and ultimately found triathlon. my sister all but hung up her running shoes. so, when i told her they were talking about making the l.a. marathon course from dodger stadium, though hollywood, beverly hills, brentwood and santa monica to the beach she said "wow, if they do that, even i'd run it!"

new multi-city, "stadium to the sea" course route!

well, guess what? ... we're running it! not only my sister and i, but my brother and his girlfriend have been training for it in new york ... all miserable winter long! the running community in l.a. is beyond excited for this race. it has so much momentum it's palpable.

i found myself talking about the marathon to anyone who would listen. i wanted everyone to run it! the last four miles of the course are in my neighborhood, along streets i run almost everyday. so, for the past four months i've been sharing my enthusiasm by leading a weekly long run for the l.a. tri club in preparation for the marathon.

when i say "lead" we're basically talking a sports-oriented julie mccoy, cruise director sportif, if you will. i choose the route, i send out the emails, i set the meeting spot, i get the club sponsor to come out with O.N.E. coconut water to replenish us. that kind of stuff. and let me tell you, it's been a blast!

when i trained for the NY marathon a few years ago i did almost all of my long runs solo. and while there is a peace of mind to solo running, those long miles do get loooong. running with this group has been spectacular. most weeks we get about 15-20 people and the couple of times we've done "course preview" runs we've swelled to 40. we're not all the same pace, but there has been a core group of about 8 that are similar to my pace.

this group has made the miles fly by! one guy and girl are now even dating (love that!) a little over a month ago we ran miles 1-19 (the first mile is within the dodger stadium grounds so was inaccessible) and last week we ran from mile 5 to the finish. this course is cool. it hits all the major landmarks in l.a. including the disney concert hall, grumman's chinese theatre, the hollywood sign, rodeo drive, etc.

disney concert hall, mile 4 (photo by carol m. highsmith)

carney's on sunset blvd. at roughly mile 12

the first 10k is hilly. i think everyone will talk about the dodger stadium hills and the temple st. hill, but honestly i think it's the false flats and the rollers out on 18, 19, 20, 21 that are are going to chew people up, BUT if you take that first 10k conservatively, it shouldn't be too bad and there are definitely some good spots to make up a little time.

below are some pictures of the running group and the marathon course that j. took as we ran. enjoy the tour:

sunday morning running group ready to tackle 21 miles!

nice hill at about mile 4

part of "the group" heading up the temple st. hill

between miles 5 - 6, echo park looking it's finest!

an easy downhill respite at mile 10-11 along hollywood blvd.
and the walk of fame.

the beverly hills police dept. at around mile 16

happy runners replenishing with o.n.e. coconut water.

there's just slightly over two weeks to go and i am christmas morning giddy! i feel ready. i wish it were this weekend! when i think of me, my brother and my sister each training in our own way, sharing our experiences, goals, challenges, i get emotional. when i think of sharing the actual day with them and all my new running friends, i float!

i love l.a.!


Josh said...

you're gonna have so much fun! looking forward to sharing the day with you and the family!

Beth said...

Cat I am sooo, sooo excited for you! Almost here! And what a beautiful, awesome course! It's going to be a very special day with your family indeed! :)

Marit Chrislock-Lauterbach said...

That's awesome! All the siblings running together - how special! :) Great guys look like you're having a BLAST!

Michelle Simmons said...

Look at that beautiful blue sky!!! Awesome! You know, it's all about the journey- these long races are just the icing on the cake. Glad you had so much fun training for this race! ;)

Jennifer Harrison said...

It looks amazing! I love that you are so excited and fired up! YOU will have a great race! ENJOY and take pics! :)

ADC said...

Oh it will be so much fun. And you will do great I am sure.

Charisa said...

How fun! Love your long runs with the group!

Molly said...

How exciting!!! You are going to have an awesome race! :)

Andrea said...

Good luck, Cat! I can't wait to hear all about it!!! Thinking of you and sending good thoughts your way. :)