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Last 6.2 miles of the LA Marathon

First off, my thoughts and prayers go out to those in Haiti. I was watching the news this morning and the devastating pictures really reminded me that I am so lucky to be alive, to have the ability to do the things I love and to keep smiling. Please remember to pray for those as they search for more survivors and try to pick up the pieces from this earthquake.

So I temped you all with a big announcement that would be revealed today. It’s pretty ironic that I post this today, since it’s raining here, and these pictures all are showcasing the gorgeous weather we had this past weekend. Well, I was on the fence about it for some time, but finally decided that I will be running the LA Marathon this year, on March 21 in Los Angeles! This will be one of the biggest races that I’ve ever ran and I’m excited about it, well, most of the time I’m excited about it. At first, I didn’t feel like I would be ready to run it, and pending any knee injuries that may come up, I will be running my fifth marathon in less than a year. Yup, I’ve lost it! This also means my training for Surf City will be adjusted, and I will be talking about that in an upcoming post as well.

There are many great things about the LA Marathon though, especially them changing the course this year. That was the straw that broke the camels back for me. I really wanted to sign up and run it because it was the first year on the new course. It looks amazing and since I am a crazy person, my friend Billy and I decided that we would showcase what the course has to offer, with videos and pictures while running different parts of it. This past weekend, after riding around and cheering on my bike at the 13.1 Marathon, we ran the last 10k of the LA Marathon. Talk about day of workout. I was EXHAUSTED when I finally got home that evening. Also, I smelled pretty badly. So anyways, onward to the end of the LA Marathon. If these pictures on this beautiful day don’t make you want to run the course this year, check your pulse. It was gorgeous out!

Mile 20 is right in front of a hospital. There was a small incline and speed bumps throughout the area, but it was still pretty. This will be the part of the course when I start talking to myself and thinking about how it’s only a 10k to go. Yea, longest 10k of my life!

Running through the hospital grounds. It was weird being in there, I felt like I was doing something illegal, but it was a nice area and the streets were very wide and easy to maneuver. A lot of tangents to run though, and I’m not so good at running tangents.

Speed checked by radar? Good thing I wasn’t running fast! HA! There was a lot of grass throughout the grounds of mile 20 and it was very well maintained.

Then you go over to the VA Medical Center grounds which again is another well taken care of area with grass and wide streets. There is a slight hill leading up to mile 21 which is going to be annoying at that point of the race! It wasn’t too long though and it was cool to see the murals on the walls going under this tunnel.

Mile 21 is mostly just a run through a park like setting even though it’s the VA Medical Center. It was pretty cool seeing the area since I’ve never been around up there much. The streets are perfect for runners and it should be easy to get through any crowds, though there aren’t many crowds at mile 21. Then around mile 21.4, you exit the medical center and go out to the land of the wealthy. These streets aren’t as wide but they really are pretty and it’s fun to see all the buildings and shops around. There is a large grass median that many run on too. That is where we ran most of our trip down San Vicente Blvd.

Running on the grass is good for my knees and shins. It was a nice day out, but as you can tell below, it was NOT cold!

73 degrees? In January? Come on! Come run LA with me! :) It was fun to see all the fitness fanatics out running, cycling and people out walking too. I hope a lot of people come out and cheer for the race, because cheering is just as important as running. It was a very nice area and it is very well maintained.

Running down towards Palisades park. The streets became much wider and the path on the green belt was also a little bit less lush, so it wasn’t hard to find footing. I will most likely be staying all on the street during the race though.

We reached mile 22 and entered the land of nice houses and nice cars. Sheesh louise! Very interesting to see everything going on around me. I tell you, I must have ADD while running, I can get distracted by staring at the most random things ever.

26.2 anyone? This was a street sign for 26th street. Ahh, blue skies, nothing but blueeeeeee skies, waiting for me!

Now, a short video clip for your enjoyment.

Mile 23, and I was tired! It was a great day, but starting our run after biking around and not eating was maybe not the brightest idea I’ve ever had. We were still running on the median and it was still a great fun day though.

Enter prestigious Brentwood! Beautiful houses to look at throughout this part of the course. They seemed to all be out of movies, and it’s so fun to think about who might live inside of them!

Mile 24 and pretty much more of the same. Nice houses, nice cars all around, people running, walking and biking. We started to run in the shade on the sidewalk at this point because it was warm out.

Cheese for the camera! Billy and I being stupid right around Mile 24.

Then we hit the jackpot. It was gorgeous and we were right in Palisades Park, which is, as Billy calls it, a runner’s mecca. It is a palm tree lined, overlooking the ocean, fitness people everywhere, southern California cliche of a park. Though the race will be staying on the street, it was nice to run through here and see the sights that this park that runs next to the street offers.

Another video, where I might mention something about my mecca or the holy land, or I just sound completely stupid…

Running through Palisades Park was a blast! Everyone was so friendly and it was one of those moments when I just looked around and thought to myself how beautiful everything was.

Palisades Park, is, as Billy said, AMAZING! I can’t believe I’ve never ran through here before. I loved all the palm trees on the path! It was so pretty out! I hope to make the drive to run up here more often.

Ahhhh best picture of the day! So LA!

Chuggin’ in to the finish! We were so close, so hungry, so hot, and so tired! We both discussed how we somehow felt like we ran a full marathon!

I made Billy run fast, he was not happy with me :)

Finally! Finito! The race ends right at Ocean and Santa Monica Blvd. Oh, and yes, that is a homeless man chilling behind us.

Mile 26.2!

So, the day was pretty much amazing and getting to the finish of the last 6.2 was totally worth it! I can’t wait to run more of the course and share it with you guys. Stay tuned because I’m hoping to get in all 26.2 miles before race day with more fun videos and pictures!

See you in LA!


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