Last weekend I completed another amazing two day race weekend, going from the RUGGED MANIAC in Pleasanton, all the way to Los Angeles for my very first Marathon, the 2019 Sketchers Performance Los Angeles Marathon.
On Saturday, March 23rd, I ran the 5K RUGGED MANIAC obstacle race with my team of middle school racers, and they all rocked it! A few were doing their first obstacle race ever, so getting them hooked was very exciting! Except for losing my sunglasses at one of the mud pits, everything went well, and the racers worked well together. We only have one more race after this one, Terrain Racing San Jose (June 8th), and we cannot wait for it to come!
That same day, after completing the race with my team, I packed my gear and drove straight to Los Angeles for my big race the next day. For being my first marathon, I did quite well. My plan was simply to finish in under 5 hours, and by pacing myself, I was able to complete it in 4:39:10, which I hear isn’t too bad at all. I could have gone faster, but I decided early on that I was not going to kill myself physically for my first marathon. I did lose about 10 minutes stopping to urinate, but other than that, I was moving the whole time. I was even told by a group that they were using me as their pacer, which I took as a big compliment.
Now, it wasn’t all fun and games, by mile 20 I was definitely starting to feel it, and although I still felt strong and capable, my body was telling me something else, starting to ache and go numb. I slowed down, but kept going until I finished. By the end, my arms and legs had completely gone numb, so when I stopped I felt like my body had turned into spaghetti. I had to keep moving until my body readjusted.
Even though the end of the race doesn’t sound to be the most ideal situation, I do have to say that the overall feeling of accomplishment completely outweighs the uncomfortable conclusion. With that said, I think I will continue to running marathons in my future. Although it was a bucket list dream of mine that I only planned to do once, I think I have enough energy to go out and do several more before I leave this world.
I have a 5K Tough Mudder race next weekend in southern California, but other than that, I will have a decent break until my Big Bear Beast in mid-May, which I cannot wait to run. There will be tons of training until then with my team and by myself!
Now, until the next entry, remember to never give up and push yourselves each and every day!
-Daniel E. Lopez