It wasn't my fastest marathon--just seven minutes faster than my very first LA Marathon--but it was certainly the easiest, the most relaxed and the most fun. It was the first time I ran a marathon all the way through with others, and it made a huge difference. It took us almost five hours but the miles flew by. The next thing I knew we were in downtown heading out for the final six miles.
The weather turned out to be not much of a factor. It was sunny and warm, but it didn't bother me too much. Still, I would have preferred running the race during Saturday's weather.
FJ, Andy and I ran a very even race. We stuck to about an 11 minute pace and got through the run with no major hassles. Andy held up extremely well in his first marathon even though his longest run was an 18 miler. Truth be told, though, he has been training for his first marathon for the last three years. The anticipation was so great that an entourage followed Andy to support him. By mile 19 our entourage grew with the addition of Jimmy and Kate who ran the rest of the way with us and Katie joined as we were going over the 6th Street bridge. Even without the big posse, though, Andy said he realized with an hour left in the race that he was going to finish. And we did!
When I got home I ordered Thai food and tried to sleep. The sleep wouldn't come though and I wound up staying up until 2 AM. The food, though, was tasty. For dinner I cooked a steak, but the Thai food was what hit the spot. When I woke up this morning, I was barely sore. It felt like I had just gone on a 16 mile training run. Perhaps the days of incapacitating soreness after a marathon are gone. Recovery is faster as the soreness subsides within a day. During the race, though, my legs felt quite heavy while my breathing remained calm and steady.
The count now stands: 4 straight L.A. Marathons, 6th overall, and many more to come.