Los Angeles MarathonLos Angeles Roadrunners

Los Angeles Marathon 2013 – Race Report Part One


I finished the LA Marathon

In the Santa Monica parking structure with the prize, the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon Medal

Well, I finished!

This was the post with the above photo on Facebook after I finished the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, March 17, 2013. It sums up this marathon season fairly well.

The quest to finish my eighth Los Angeles Marathon began a year ago.

I was unhappy with my athletic performance in 2012 and felt I underestimated my training regimen and the long 26.2 mile run itself. I sought redemption and I knew it would not be easy.

I had to train and run more and faster.

I had to lose weight.

I had to avoid injury.

I started.

First, the My Fitness Pal continued and I measured my calories in and my calories out. Week in and week out, I lost the weight. For race day 2013 I was down over 10 pounds. I wanted more, but this would have to do for this year. My weight = 220 pounds.

The training continued in Thousand Oaks with week day 5K runs every Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays with wife, Alice. Every week until race day.

Tuesday and Sunday were cross-training walk days – also 5K. Every week except after long runs of 20 miles.

Fridays were off.

Long runs were with the Los Angeles Running Club in the spring and summer. Every week unless we were on vacation or were racing. While on vacation, Alice and I would run there. The runs were at least 7.6 miles and sometimes longer, especially when we prepared for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September.

Here I am with Alice the first Saturday after last year’s LA Marathon.

LA Running Club

 The spring and summer of 2012 passed quickly.

The California beach runs in Santa Monica and Venice Beach were challenging as I stepped up to a 2:1 Run/Walk/Run ratio and at least a 15 minute per mile pace. I ran with Alice and LA Roadrunner’s R/W 5 pace leader Nancy. After a number of weeks, I settled into the faster running. I did bonk a few times under the sun and heat though.

I wanted to be prepared not only for the summer season ending race of the Disneyland Half Marathon, but also for the Los Angeles Roadrunners R/W 5 training which began the next week after the race.

I was going to run THIS year as a regular member of the R/W 5 group and finish the training runs and the marathon with them.

Here I am at the Disneyland Half Marathon race:

Disneyland Half Marathon

Alice and me in the pre-race corrals at the Disneyland half Marathon

These were my goals for the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon training season.

I had a good race at Disneyland, despite the heat. My legs cramped again at the finish, but my “new” compression socks helped control the agony and I did PR.

On to the Los Angeles Roadrunners and marathon training with another half marathon , the Las Vegas Half Marathon in December.

The marathon training season arrived. Roadrunners started. Walt returned.

The question: Would I be able to hang with the group? And, if I did, for how many miles?

LA Roadrunners 2012The LA Roadrunners’ organizational meeting in Spetember 2012

LA Roadrunners R/W 5

Walt introduces everyone at the first LA Roadrunners R/W 5 meeting

So, Run/Walk 5 started – We came, We ran and We KICKED ASS.

Gregory Flap Cole

The mileage was low and I was smiling

I settled into the group and I could hang.

Run Walk 5 September 2012

The mileage increased.

Up Georgina we went.

Alice and Nancy ran the Long Beach Half Marathon in October. I declined to race (maybe in 2013), but volunteered to be the photographer!

Long Beach Half Marathon Alice and Greg

Alice and I before Alice’s Long Beach Half Marathon

Alice and Nancy at the Long Beach Half Marathon

Alice and Nancy complete Long beach in front of the LA Running Club support tent

I started talking to members of Run/Walk 5 more and more as Alice would leave and lead the group with Nancy.

The miles increased and I was still with the group!

The Las Vegas Half Marathon came in December. Would I be able to PR?

The answer was YES!

Greg and Alice at Las Vegas Half MarathonAlice and me in the pre-race corral before the December 2012 Las Vegas Half Marathon

With long run marathon mileage pushing past the half marathon distance in the middle of December, how would my body respond?

I was making friends, having great conversations with Run/Walk 5 runners, but,  what would the LA Roadrunner 16 miler on December 15 bring?

Well, I finished with the group while Sue and Flavia held me back from finishing too fast!

But, the new year would bring more challenges – health-wise and miles.