16 weeks of training with BlacklistLA for the LA Marathon paid off!!
Training for the marathon definitely felt like a crazy roller coaster of different emotions! Throughout the whole training, I felt amazing. Completed my longest run to date at the time (20 miles), felt good, listened to my body, rested, recovered, woke up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning's for long runs, all that. Then, the week before the marathon, I injured myself on a 3 mile run. I sprained my ankle which led me to not knowing if I'd be okay to the run the marathon the following week. It completely shattered my heart because I felt like there was NO way the swelling and pain would go away within a week. I had trained SO hard the past four months to mess it all up a week before! I seriously feel that with the well wishes from everyone, I healed in time to conquer my first 26.2 miles!!
I was so nervous the day before, but most of all excited to be running the marathon after everything I went through the week before. I literally taped up both of my entire legs JUST to be safe. (I'm not even joking, I used up all my KT tape roll LOL.) Meeting up at the start line with the BlacklistLA squad definitely helped calm the nerves the morning of. It felt like it was just any other long run we were going on and it really helped set my mind to stay calm and enjoy every minute of it.
I can't even begin to explain the amazing experience I had running the LA Marathon. Everything from the runners, the community cheering and supporting us along the course, to the emotions going on in my head. To be honest though, if it wasn't for the LA community out there cheering for us and providing us with water, snacks, etc. along the route, I don't think I would have been able to make it. It's such a beautiful thing seeing everyone come together to support strangers running the marathon.
I was keeping a good steady pace up until about mile 9/10. That's when I had to turn it down a notch to catch my breathe. I kept adding videos onto my instastory to not only share my experience with everyone, but because being on my phone helps distract me from any negative thoughts. Running through cities, counting down the miles left, it all felt great and I felt unstoppable. It wasn't until mile 16, around Beverly Hills, that my left quad really started acting up. It was cramping really bad, when I would touch it, it even felt hot. There were points when I felt like I couldn't keep running because of the pain, but thanks to my sister Lindsay and my boyfriend Eddie, they helped me reach the finishline with their motivational text messages.
Starting mile 20 and on, it was TOUGH! I wouldn't necessarily say I hit "THE wall" because I personally felt like I could keep running, not one negative thought in my head, BUT the pain I was feeling in my left quad got REALLY bad. My left foot also started hurting with every step I took, but I dug deep and kept it pushing! As soon as I hit mile 25, I gave it all I had and just ran straight to the finish line!
I finished 26.2 miles in 5 hours and 41 minutes, and that to me is AMAZING given the situation I was placed in the previous week! Waiting at the finish line for me was my whole family and my boyfriend and that meant the world to me. The amount of love I received from everyone on text messages, DM's, comments, tweets, etc. was truly so appreciated! Nike LA tweeted out a special message congratulating me for finishing my first 26.2. That tweet made me feel so emotional because if it wasn't for Nike Run Club, I would have never discovered my love for running. My first run was at Niketown in Beverly Hills and I struggled bad to even run 1 full mile. To get from that point to now finishing my first marathon is truly something I would have never imagined.
After the race, I felt like a zombie. My entire body was in pain and I was barely able to walk. That was nothing compared to the next day though. I couldn't even get out of bed and my left foot was in so much pain. I swore I would NEVER do another marathon again, but as soon as the soreness and pain went away, I quickly took that back and am now looking forward to running the LA Marathon again next year. Perhaps will look into running the Chicago marathon too since it's sponsored by Nike ;)
Thank you so much to everyone for all the support and love throughout this marathon journey! This isn't the end, I'm already looking forward to my next challenge! I definitely think that everyone should experience running a marathon once during their lifetime. It is such a life changing experience. If I can run a full marathon, so can YOU! I never thought I'd ever run anything past 3 miles and now I have 1 marathon down.
xo, DIANA KAREN
(below is a video recap of my InstaStories)