LA Marathon. theMFDre Edition.

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I’ve been sitting with this recap for the last day, and have had a hard time knowing where to start, where to end and where to fill in the gaps – it is a story I could run circles around and tell about 12 different ways.  Apologies if it’s a ramble.

Sunday’s marathon was rich with emotions and a ton of heart for me. Not to mention a lot of running.

and I finished it in 4:18!

Less than two years after this drama, I’m a marathoner.  And I am Proud.  Very Proud.

The morning started out VERY early – 1am.  The city decided that our street should be a NO STOPPING zone (even though we’re two blocks north of the course) and due to very short and very poor notice, over 45 cars were towed from our street all.night.long. Between the beeping of the tow trucks and the car alarms that were set off from the towing, there was no rest for the anxious and weary.

I opted to take the shuttle from Santa Monica to Dodger Stadium.  This was GENIUS.  The Mr. dropped me off at 5:15a and by 5:18a I was in a bus and 20 min later pulling in to the stadium.  The buses had dedicated lanes and entrances that made things so super easy.

Good Morning Dodger Stadium.

I met up with new running friend Pam (who is so awesome btw) who was ready to run her 7th LA Marathon and 19th overall marathon.  We hung out in the warming tent and chatted away, completely calming my nerves and at the same time getting me more excited to just run!

We separated right around 6:45 so I could check my gear and we could head into the start corrals. After pumping up the crowd with a little “I Love LA” we were off running through Downtown, Chinatown and Echo Park.  The first few miles were great.  The runnergy was so high that you could feel it.  Through miles 5-7 we hit our first few hills which were a bit steep, but manageable given the legs were still pretty fresh.

At mile 7, my friend Nathalie and her kids were there, cheering me on.  I gave her a HUGE hug, shed my first round of tears and kept on running, still feeling awesome.  At mile 8.5, Asics had set up a video board that family and friends could use to customize messages to runners.  It picked up your chip number and served you a message as you ran by.  Thanks to my brother’s slightly inappropriate and hysterically funny motivation, I laughed and cried and kept on running.

Miles 10-15 were through Hollywood & West Hollywood where the crowds and volunteers were in full force. The Tranny Cheerleaders in WeHo were a.maz.ing and as I was coming into Beverly Hills, the MF Dre became mid-pack marathon famous (as captured by the Mr. while they pre-partied at our house).

It was just a few minutes after this point that things went a bit south.  I was pacing really well – hitting all of my splits with relative ease and then suddenly I couldn’t keep fuel down. At Mile 16, I veered off course not being able to hold the Gu I’d just taken in.  I took a moment to regroup and got back on course, alternating running with walking for about 2 miles.  At Mile 18, my friends Beth and Cathleen were waiting for me with cowbells, posters and hugs. I stopped to hug them and distinctly remember Cathleen saying, don’t stop!!! keep running!! So off I went.

Mile 20 was a repeat of 16. Bummer. My sub-4 pace was blown, but then I knew I was 2 miles away from the Mile 22 Party so I started moving again, slowly.

As I hit Mile 22 and saw the Mr., Family and Friends I hit a brief adrenaline high and it was exactly what I needed once again.  I was now on my turf, with my friends, my neighbors and my community.   I was finishing this thing no matter what.

At Mile 23, I somehow tripped on a sewer cover, fell flat on my face and it was here that the severe cramping began.  Dehydrated and under-fueled, my entire body started to cramp pretty badly.  A nice man on the side of the road rolled up my pants and rubbed Ben-gay all over my legs.  Another put huge smears of Vaseline on my palms, hoping that it would help alleviate the road burn I’d just received.   And then I saw my friend Sally.  This is the girl who has been by my side through ALL THE BAD.  The one who rescued me off the slopes after my snowboarding crash and who delivered me food and sat by my side for hours and hours and hours before and after back surgeries. And there she was, smiling and ready at Mile 23.5, dressed in her running clothes, ready to once again, get by my side until the finish – stopping to help me rub out the cramps and motivating me through until the end.

And we made it {with a few more tears}

I am a marathoner!

It has taken me some time to process all of Sunday, and I am still processing.  But here are the big things:

  • I know that this is a ME PROBLEM, but I was a bit bummed on Sunday that I didn’t hit my goal of sub-4.  I know I’m capable, and that some events during the race got the best of me, but I was a smidge bummed.  Even having a goal for my first marathon – beyond the goal of just finishing –  might have been a bit crazy, but that’s me.   Today I feel proud for what I’ve overcome over the last few years and that is so much bigger than my silly little (BIG) sub-4 ego. And as Pam so eloquently reminded me, “Every Finish Line brings the Start of a New Race” {Bring it Boston and Chicago}
  • I felt a renewed sense of HUMANITY in the city of Los Angeles.  Perhaps it was because the streets were closed and people were on lock down from their {towed} cars, but the volunteers, the crowds and the runners were just plain amazing.  It felt like everyone, runner-and-non-runner alike, had each others back on this one and took care of one another – strangers rubbing my legs with Ben-Gay, tireless cheerleaders, Vaseline sticks, cut up oranges, smiles, high fives etc.  Thank You.
  • There is a reason it is called a MARATHON and not a SPRINT. It is a long journey and it is much more of a mental journey than physical.  There are smiles, tears, adrenaline rushes, hit-the-wall lows and everything in between.  Very few races are physically perfect and it is your mental spirit that makes or breaks a race.  Being able to re-frame my perspective on course, especially when I knew I had blown my sub-4 goal, was what got me there.

I am a Marathoner.{and I can’t wait to do it again next month in Boston}

Thank you all for so much love, all the cheering and endless support

{MF Dre}

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27 thoughts on “LA Marathon. theMFDre Edition.

  1. Wow! What a journey! What a race! Way to go, though. You is mighty tough! And you is awfully fast. I know you didn’t make your sub 4 goal but that is still a very impressive time. Congrats!

  2. Andrea!! I’m happy to have met you and happier to call you a friend. 🙂

    CONGRATS on your first! Our first is always very emotional, so many feelings pour out of you at the finish. But, I really feel every marathon whether it’s your 1st or your 100th should always feel very special. Celebrate all of them. Don’t forget the feeling you had when you crossed that finish line. It changes you forever, in a good way! Your friend Sally sounds like quite the gal! Sorry, to hear that sewer cover got in your way! 😦 love the pictures you shared. I can feel your emotions through them. Welcome to the club Andreal!! Cheers!! :))

  3. Janet

    Wow! After reading this, you are REALLY amazing, we love you, Andrea, and how proud we all of of you.
    You are a very special young woman and friend to our family.
    Much love, Janet, Hank and all the rest (you know who!).

  4. Andrea, CONGRATS!!! You are a MARATHONER! I loved reading this recap. I felt every single one of your emotions. What an accomplishment lady 🙂

    There is nothing wrong with having high expectations of yourself. You know what you are capable of and it will only drive you to push harder and smarter. We never know what will happen on race day. It’s like the game of Big Brother. We have to expect the unexpected. You finished in an excellent time, be proud!

    Hope you see you soon and looking forward to following along as you prepare for Boston. Now get rest, refuel and get ready to smash another 26.2! xoxo

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