A Marathoner’s Weekend: From Start To Finish (Part 2)
This was it: The big day. As per usual, I was overly excited and couldn’t seem to sleep enough so I decided to wake up right before any of my alarms went off. I had all my routine planned out for that morning and I raced to the bathroom for some intense teeth brushing and then it was off to make some breakfast. I had a little trouble deciding what to eat before the race so I just went for some easy digestible food like oats, yogurt and a banana. Granted, it was three hours before the race so I knew I’d be hungry again before the race starts, but also I didn’t want to be that guy who rushes off to the port-o-potty right in the middle of the race so I decided that my energy gels should be sufficient.
I put on all my running gear and headed out to the shuttle bus two streets away from my hotel. The weather was chilly and a little breezy around 5am in downtown LA but my mind was completely focused elsewhere. The ride to Dodger Stadium was shorter than expected due to no traffic that early in the morning and as I arrived, I could see people walking into the stadium and I couldn’t wait to see what was waiting for me inside there.
The moment I walked in, I saw a whole swarm of runners in every direction and a small live stage with girls dancing on it. There were probably thousands of people, if not more, gathering inside and the most populated place was definitely the restrooms. There were literally lines forming as long as I can imagine with guys needing to go about their business before the race started.
With about an hour left until the race began, I started my stretching and making sure that my legs wouldn’t give out on me during the race. There were all types of runners around in size wise and personalities. There was Batman, Robin, Superman and what supposedly is a green fairy to celebrate St. Patty’s Day. As my group was being called to get ready for the final whistle, I had to squeeze through tons of people to get ahead enough so that I don’t get left in the back.
I braced my breathing just to calm myself down and got my watch ticking and ready for when I cross the starting line. I looked up into the sky one last time as if I was hoping for a miracle run and I know that no matter what happens, I’ll always remember this day for what it is. The announcer started counting down from 10 and as we all moved further and further forward, I could feel my heart beating to the sound of the shoes stomping on the ground. And as the word “Go!” was shouted, I ran past the starting line and off into the distance.