I heard the first weather report earlier in the week. Maybe monday. And the forecast was for rain. I thought there's a probability for change since weather is so unpredictable. It's also a lot of me not wanting to run in the rain. It rained last year for the LA marathon, my guide this time was David Wright, who rait last year and said it was miserable.
Saturday night I was keeping a close eye on the weather and it all said rain. No 2 ways around it. We were going to get wet. Damn. Well I thought at least I'd be prepared. Luckily Deborah, my lady love, was going to be leap frogging to catch glimpses of me. So I thought I'd give her a bag with extra socks, running sneakers and shirts. So at least I can change out every 7 or 8 miles. Plus she got me a bunch of rain gear like ponchos and even a rain suit which had plastic pants a zip up jacket and a hood. Maybe my biggest concern was losing toe nails and getting blisters.
Debs parents came for a visit on Saturday and were going to be able to attend at least some of the race. Their first time doing something like this I think, at least for me anyway.
David and I went to the expo Saturday, it was pouring pretty much and most of the expo was outdoors, a new experience for me. We got out of there pretty quick. Then went to Big 5 sporting goods. I got pants and gloves, he got a jacket and gloves. All to be used the next day.
David, his wife, des parents an Patrick my camera guy were all coming over for pasta dinner. I wanted everyone out by 6pm so I could get some sleep. I haven't gotten decent sleep the night before a marathon yet. This past week I've been getting up earlier and earlier and going to bed earlier and earlier so I would be prepared to wake up at 330am Sunday morning.
We had a great feast of a meal and I rushed everybody out at 630. My girlfriend was going to sleep in another room so I could sleep without her disturbing me or vice versa. Which worked out great because I was falling asleep by 730 or so. Unfortunately I woke up at 130am. From there I was in and out of sleep until 4am when my girlfriend woke me up. 4am? I set my alarm for 330. I guess I set it wrong. It's a new alarm clock. I could've sworn I set it right.
Deb, Patrick and I were on out way by 435. Some confusion in the parking lot, apparently the guys in the parking lot didn't have the right info for where we needed to park. No big deal.
We figured that early because traffic would be crazy. Luckily my Facebook friend cat, sent me VIP passes for the dugout club in dodger stadium. That's where the race begins. The clubhouse was great. Real bathrooms to use, not porta potties. An assortment of breads and fruits. And just some place warm to hang out.
After hanging out for a long time and after my stretching, I started to dress in my rain gear. Shortly after the pants went on I heard Patrick say "Gordon, old you come over here?" I look over and it is non other than chef Gordon Ramsay of hells kitchen, kitchen nightmares, master chef and the oon to be hotel hell. I'm a huge fann. He's making his way over to me, my mouth drops I think I actually said "whoa!!". He shook my hand said hello and mentioned that the upcoming master chef season 3 has a visually disabled person. I was still in such shock I dont know what I said if anything. He took a pic with me and wished me luck. I couldn't believe it. That was great. I went back to changing and put on my plastic rain jacket and the hood and turned to Gordon and said do I look ready? He said I did, he came over again, I think he saw my sign on my back about what I'm doing this year because he said "3rd of 12, where's the next one?" I said st Louis. "not London?" I wanted to keep the 12 in the states this year. "well if you run London next year I'll run it with you" he said. (I don't think he knows I run with guides). Well, if that's true I will definitely run it. "you and I London marathon 2013 and I'll cook afterwards". I hope he's telling the truth. People say things a lot, but I will for sure follow up on this. He was very nice.
We get the boot from the clubhouse around 7. As I'm walking out a guy holds the door open for me and it's Sean Astin of goonies, Rudy and lord of the rings fame!! I tell him I'm a big fan and he inquired about how I'm going to run. I told him about my guides and my 12 in 12. He seemed impressed and said really encouraging things to me and what a nice guy! I was really excited to meet him. I wanted to be Mikey in goonies :)
we work our way through the 23,000 other runners to take our spot on line. I put my blindfold on and wait to hear david say we can start running.
It was too crowded. A lot of starting and stopping and bumping into people, needless walking when I'd rather be running. I was going too slow and I felt it. About a mile or two in I was over heating from the plastic rain gear. I had to get it off. David helped. I was covered in sweat. Now just because I was sweating didn't mean it was hot out. Oh no. It was cold and breezy, making me very very cold because now I'm wet!
Those first 8 miles were the worst maybe. My attitude was shitty and my muscles were already bothering me. I met with Deborah in the 8th mile somewhere. I was able to change a shirt get rid of the unnecessary rain gear and get going. I was trying not to listen to times. I don't want to know how I'm doing during the race. David let it slip that I was at over 2 hours for the 8 plus miles. That bummed me out. It was far slower than I'm use to. And at this rate it was going to take a very long time. I'm not concerned with breaking records but I've prepared myself for running just over 5 1/2 hours and it was looking like much longer at that rate.
We couldn't find a rhythm. No consistency. For the first time I tried the holding on to a towel thing. Where we each grab an end while running. I tried thus once with deb in training for Chicago in 2010 and i didn't feel connected to my guide. So I would hold on to my guides forearm.
This new way took some getting use to but I think I like it. It takes a lot of pain away from my shoulders and neck. I still had to grab his arm sometimes if It got congested or something. But it worked out ok.
One of the hardest things for me still during a race are the sounds. Having encouragement is great, but so many people have noise makers and there's a ton of screeching and screaming it does the opposite of encourage for me. It's just too much.
Then there are the weird runners that I can hear. Two from yesterday are a guy wearing cowbells and a guy literally making zombie noises. Not because tired or anything he's maybe just crazy? David was calling the walking runners "walkers" which, I mentioned is what the zombies are called on the walking dead, a favorite show of mine. So we would now refer to the walking runners as zombies.
I finished in 6:13:12. My worst time yet by 32 minutes. Ouch. Oh well, fuck it. I finished! I was so thrilled to be done and to have avoided the rain at least a little longer.
Liz from dr drew show was there to interview me and david. Maybe I'll get on his show again.
I got to Deborah and her parents, I got my medal and some pictures. A bagel and some water. Get me out of here.
Traffic getting out of Santa Monica was crazy(that's where th marathon ended. I think I forgot to mention that). Took a long time to get home, but the shower felt great. We went to a burger joint wher I had a beef burger (I usually get turkey) and 2 blue moons. It hit the spot alright.
I had heard the best thing after a race is an ice bath. I didn't like the sound of it but I tried it. I screamed and yelped the first 3 minutes. They say it takes only 30 seconds to get use to. That's a lie. I don't know how much good it did. I actually think I needed more ice in it. Maybe I'll try again next time.
I went home watched the season finale of the Walking Dead and Talking Dead got into bed and was asleep by 8pm I think. I had some solid sleep. Nothing like marathon sleep. It feels great. The soreness in the morning? Not so great.
Well, there it is. Thanks for reading and the support. Still looking for publicity for the year. Help if you can. Here are some links...