It’s been 11 days since the LA Marathon. The soreness is long gone, the BQ still feels surreal, and I’m setting my sights on “what’s next” (always…). But I still have so much I want to remember about our weekend in LA, so let’s look back…
That Friday was Liv’s third birthday (She’s three! I still can’t wrap my brain around that…). We started the day with cake for breakfast, which – just like donuts – is more exciting in theory. She had a couple bites and lost interest, scrambling to get back to her new doll cradle and highchair from Nonny & Poppy. She ran around the house like her crazy, wild self, as Jared and I packed for LA and did some last minute cleaning for my family’s arrival.
We took off for LA at naptime and although Liv insisted she wouldn’t sleep until we got to the hotel, she was out before we left our neighborhood. The hotel was a big hit, as were the presents from Aunt Allison!
Liv was just as happy as I was to head to the LA Marathon Expo, which was busy and bumping with loud music. To a three year old, I’m sure it felt like a giant birthday party. I love expos and this was the granddaddy of them all, so I was over-the-moon excited to pick up my bib and scope out all the vendor booths, like a kid in a (free samples!) candy store. Meanwhile, Jared found an empty dance floor, where Liv danced her little heart out.
As the sunset, we made our way back to our hotel to meet up with my parents and brother, who’d just flown in from Cincinnati. After lots of reunion hugs and singing “Happy Birthday!” to Liv, again, we went to sleep (or at least, I tried to sleep, but gosh, I was just way too excited).
Saturday morning, we ventured out for a beautiful patio breakfast at Panini Café, before spectating the Olympic Marathon Trials.
I followed the trials when they were in Houston four years ago, but had no clue how incredible it’d be to see in person. I was instantly caught up in the excitement of the race, star-struck as I watched my heroes gut it out on the course, marveling at their paces and stats with my dad, who was just as caught up in it as I was.
We popped into the Expo for a bit to keep Liv happy and cool off – there were Arctic Zero samples! My favorite “ice cream!”
Then we headed back outside to catch the final laps of the race.
We were standing right at the finish line as the top runners flew in for the finish! It was crazy exciting…
Sweet Liv kept saying she wanted “Everybody to win.” And gosh, I get that. My heart broke when Kara Goucher finished fourth and when we realized Dathan Ritzenhein must’ve dropped out – it was a terribly blazing hot, sunny day for the race – I was sweating just standing still. I read that as much as one third of the field had to drop out…
As much as I loved seeing the winners – those famous faces we see all over ads and on the news, I really loved seeing all the “ordinary” runners, too. The beauty of social media is that I’ve gotten to follow the journeys of the elites, as well as the nonprofessional runners, who have kids, and full-time jobs, and incredible comeback stories, who ran knowing they wouldn’t break the tape. I felt just as inspired by the runners who came in first place as those who finished last.
Everybody did not win (sorry, Liv), but every runner was amazing. They were all flying. They were all living their dreams…
After the Trials, I was buzzing with adrenaline (and nerves for my upcoming race!), so while the rest of the family headed back to the hotel, my dad and I went back to that granddaddy Expo (for my 3rd visit, ha!). We were wandering around, absorbed in conversation, when we accidentally found ourselves in line to meet Dean Karnazes!!!!
Dean’s first book, “Ultramarathon Man,” came out shortly before I started running in 2007, and my dad and I each read it. I was brand new to running and hadn’t completed more than a 5K, but I devoured his memoir, which recaps his journey into ultra running, and finished determined to run a marathon myself. 21 (now 22!) marathons later, I got to meet the guy who fueled my passion for endurance running!
He was so warm and friendly, down-to-earth, and humble, as we shared what he’s probably heard from thousands of people – that he’s inspired us.
I still can’t believe that accidentally happened!
Back at the hotel, I tried to wind down, but it was such an over-the-top exciting day. I did a lot of things you “shouldn’t” do the day before a marathon – I walked a ton, didn’t rest, didn’t eat enough, and probably didn’t drink enough… but holy smokes, did I go to bed feeling motivated!
I wouldn’t call myself a superstitious person… but I’m pretty silly about numbers and signs. For example, the race was on Jared’s and my wedding anniversary: 02/14; our hotel room was #1420; and my bib number was #2410 – that’s gotta be good luck, right? Ha!
I’m also a big fan of even numbers, so the fact that this was my 22nd marathon, on my 6th anniversary, in 2016, well, all of that’s amazing, too… yeah?
Ok, so I am crazy, but I fell asleep feeling unusually calm, and determined to make the next day awesome.
(*Click here to read my LA Marathon race recap)