I had such a blast over the weekend thanks to the LA marathon. Friday Ryan arrived from Hawaii and Billy took us for a trail run in Temescal Canyon near Malibu. Though it was only a quick 4 miler, I loved the chance to run with them, especially when we realized it was our first (and last for an extended time period) trail run together. (insert misty-eyed face)
Friday afternoon/evening was a fantastic opportunity to see other runner friends at the LA marathon expo. A group of us ended up getting dinner in Silverlake at Gingergrass, a hipster Vietnamese-style restaurant, and grabbing some drinks and German sausage at Red Lion Tavern (love that place!!!). Fun times and lots of laughs made me sad for the night to end. The evening was a huge reminder of why I love running- the awesome people!!!
Saturday I drug myself out of bed and hit Peter's Canyon for a quick, hot 5 miler. I hiked the uphills as I know I'm not used to heat and hills and I was feeling ill prior to the run. Getting "attacked" by a cactus made for an interesting run and a lesson learned- never touch my face if I just pulled cactus bristles from my hand. (No pics of that...sorry guys!)
Sunday morning I drove to West LA and easily found parking less than 2 miles from mile 21, the place where I told Ryan I'd meet him. Since driving and parking too less time than anticipated, I leisurely jogged to mile 21 and decided to run closer to 21.5 and hangout at Coffee Bean. My right achilles felt tight so I doubted being able to run anymore that day. I got a sugar-free mocha IceBlended (yummy!) and scored a perfect spot for watching the race.
I loved seeing the wheelchair participants, including the eventual winner who flew by before I could snap a pic. Even after seeing the female and male leaders, my favorites remained the wheelchair participants as I had such admiration for their strength and ability. I'm accustomed to seeing runners so it was a different experience for me, one that made me even happier to be a spectator.
Ryan came by and I got the chance to hang with him. Crowd support was phenomenal from 21 to the finish. Though the post-finish line area was crazy, I understood why the organizers had to use the parking lots near the beach (far from the finish) as it seemed like all of Santa Monica was shut down for the race. After having lived in SM for years, I was shocked to see so much of the city devoted to the race. I had the chance to see a few people post-race and thoroughly enjoyed the remainder of the day as a non-runner. Unfortunately, my achilles is super tight and creaky-sounding after the weekend's running but I'm not worried...I loved the chance to see people enjoying running LA and to see friends...what an awesome weekend!