LA Marathon: The Monsoon Experience
Monday, March 21, 2011
Nothing could have prepared me for yesterday. Just after we started raining (I am now editing, realizing that I meant to write running instead of raining, but maybe we did become one with the rain), there was a torrential downpour that did not let up until hours after I arrived home for the evening. The only way I can describe it is this: imagine that you are caught 22 miles away from home in a monsoon... you don't have access to a car or a bus, and you have to keep up with everyone else around you in order to get home... or else you will be stuck in the weather and lost and will not be able to find your way...oh, and you don't have an umbrella. I have actually run 20 miles in the pouring rain before...it didn't even come close to yesterday's experience. I am fortunate, however. I finished in shock at what happened, and shivered as I'd been in soaking wet clothes for hours. However, I was not injured, and I did not get hypothermia (thousands of the runners were evaluated for hypothermia, thousands did not show or finish, and hundreds had to be picked up by buses along the route). I may be sore as I sit and recover today, but I am warm and have food.
This was the hardest task I have ever accomplished. To be honest, I don't have a true sense of it yet. I now aspire to different things, like returning to my love of physical activity without necessarily having to complete runs three times a week.
There may come a time when I check out shorter distance events, since I have now proven to myself that I am a capable runner. After yesterday, a half-marathon or a 10k does not feel like a big deal. Two years ago, a 5k was a huge deal for me. On most days this year, my short runs weren't much longer than 5ks, and they still felt like a big deal. On other days, my short Saturday runs were 10-13 miles, and even my 20 mile long runs did not feel difficult. It is all a matter of perspective. As they say, everyone has good and bad runs. Its to be expected.
All in all, I feel fortunate that I survived. I can't wait to see the photos from the marathon. It was certainly an experience to remember.