Got to the start at about 5:15 and it literally started raining as I got out of the cab with my friends Richard and Ann.
Oy. 2+ hours later I was crossing the start line about 10 minutes after the gun. I forgot my Garmin, which I had been debating anyway. So the first few miles were fun and relatively dry. I was going nice and easy and my usual talking to anybody around me who would participate. Going through downtown the rain REALLY started coming down. It was awesome. Totally crazy.
I was clicking off the miles and really enjoying this one - more so than my other marathons/races where I'm going against the clock. With no Garmin and many of the mile markers unclear I was really going completely by feel. The route was awesome - a little bit of everything. WAY better than the 2 different routes I've done in the previous 2 times I've ran LA.
I had fans in Julia and Henry braving the rain and meeting me at mile 18. It was great to see them. Julia was very surprised how calm I was and how I was pretty sure I might even PR! From mile 20 on it was basically downhill, and with my 2+ year old PR of 4:28 I was just ahead of the 4:30 pace group, and I had seen them cross the start way before me - so I had time on them! We said our goodbyes and I was on my way.
I've gotta say with those conditions I was extremely grateful to the volunteers and spectators. They had easily as hard a job as we (the runners) did! At mile 20 I picked up my good friend Jessica as she wanted to run the last 6 with me. She even told me she was "somewhat disappointed" to see how well I was doing! I kinda agree - you shouldn't be able to register the day before a marathon with no long runs in your legs and trot to the finish?! She wanted me to learn my lesson I guess! But I was going strong, and with just a few miles left I was excited to make the descent into Santa Monica. I also saw my friends Eric and his wife Paige. We all trained for our Ironmans together and they're great people. Picking up the pace, we finally rounded the final corner at mile 25 and it was like a monsoon hit us. I swear the wind was blowing 30 mph. Crazy. I crossed the line, being out kicked by some big hulky guy at the pointless sprint. I'd later find out that I did a 4:20! 8 minutes off my PR!
What happened after was a 3 hour affair trying to get a ride out of the chilly Santa Monica back home. It was actually pretty horrible, but that's how things go sometimes. I was so cold it took hours to warm up.
But in the end I'll remember an incredibly fun, cool and impulsive day!