After the last marathon failure, I slipped back into half-a$$ runner mode. Occasional 5 and 10Ks, less mileage, not too serious, but never quitting either. In '04 and '05 I ran some 5Ks with my son (no stroller) as he was big enough to run most of the way. Later in '07 he actually beat me in a 5K at age 13 (barely) in 23:20. It was fun to share my 'hobby'. He tried cross country a couple times, but didn't stick with it. Here we are in 2010 in a 5K we ran together.
2005 I married wife #2, Mrs. bangle44. I actually proposed before a
race, out on a pier over the ocean. Totally surprised her. Then I took
off to run the race. She loves the beach and the ocean, so she was
thrilled and always tells everyone how I proposed and then ran away. We
bought a house together only 1/2 mile from the beach, so now I can do
most of my running along the coast. Life is good.
and '09 I gradually got more serious with the running. Did more half
marathons, and did my first triathlons. And in May '09 I started
blogging on the loop, the greatest motivational tool for runners since
In going through the archives I found the first documented capture of the bangle pump, from 2002. Spot the pump.
here is a bigger version of my original loop avatar, from my first tri
in 2008. Senior Runner named this the bangle pump, and it kind of took
off from there.
awesome inspiration of the Loop got me back to thinking that I needed
to try this marathon thing again. I had done 3 good marathons in
Minnesota, and two awful bonkers in LA. When the LA marathon came out
with a new course, I knew it was time to vanquish my bete noire, get the
monkey off my back, and conquer my hometown marathon. Training was
going well. I put in the mileage, I did more speed work, had some good
races. The loop helped motivate me to new heights. I had a stretch goal
of a BQ at 3:30, or 8 minute pace, but really I just wanted to finish
LA without bonking for once.
The rest is from my original Loop Race Report, titled Revenge is Kind of Sweet
Maybe Three Days a Week isn't Enough After All
OMFG, It Hurts!
LA, You are my Bee-yotch!
A Bonk and A Victory
to the start was crazy. DW and I left home at 5:00 AM and got within 2
miles of the stadium at 5:30 and then came to a dead stop on the
freeway. It took another hour before we made it into the parking lot,
just before I was ready to ditch the car or pee my pants. I did a quick
pee (luckily the parking lot is surrounded by trees) and headed for the
corral. I managed to move up pretty far, so I was only about 20 feet
behind the sub 4 corral, so I got 90% of the people behind me. Then I
sat and waited. The start was delayed 20 minutes due to the traffic
At the start they played "I Love LA" and I got
choked up again. I managed to get moving pretty quick and did the first
mile in 8:33. After looping the Stadium we passed the start and the back
of the pack had still not moved at all. It was over 20 minutes before
everyone got started. Miles 2 and 3 were downhill so I opened it up and
clocked a 7:38 and 7:35. Banking some minutes! Ha!
and 5 had some steep uphills, and I had to make another potty break
that cost me a minute. But basically I was feeling pretty good - not
great. 8:11, 9:17 (with the pee break)
The next 7 miles I
was cruising through Hollywood, enjoying the atmosphere, running just
under 8 minute pace, and thinking it was too fast. But I was trying to
relax, and the pace would not go up! So I decided to stay with it and
see how it went. Maybe a BQ was possible if I could keep this up. But I
was starting to feel a little tired, and kind of figured I would be
hurting later. 7:59, 7:49, 8:09, 7:53, 7:59, 7:57, 7:54
sighting! Gordon Ramsay was running and I heard someone say his name,
and I looked over and there he was, 4 feet away! I passed him about mile
12. The guy next to me had to say" My wife loves your show" or some
such nonsense and he was gracious and said "Thanks very much". He is a
serious runner and has done the 56 mile Comrades race! Turns out he
dropped out about 3 miles later.
There were photographers
all over, so by the end of the day I was ready to retire the bangle pump
forever. It seemed a little forced. I should just save it for the
The people cheering were awesome. With my name on
my bib, I heard lots of Go Brad cheers. Major kudos to the fans who
spend hours boosting the spirits of thousands of strangers!
13 I was starting to tire, and my "relaxed" effort was finally showing
up on my watch with a 8:21, but mile 14 was back to 8:02 and mile 15 was
downhill so I did 7:57. But I was getting seriously tired now. I was
feeling blisters forming on both feet and getting pre-cramp feelings in
my calves. Mile 16 was 8:22.
then started focusing on short term goals. Walking started to sound
really good, but I kept putting it off. I was running with my heart and
my guts. My wife and kid were waiting after mile 18 so I decided I would
try to stay strong through then. Mile 17 was 8:37 and mile 18 was 8:45.
Slowing but still running.
still felt OK, so I focused on getting to 19 without stopping. Made it
in 8:41. Now I was starting to think what it would take to finish under 4
hours. Sounded possible if I didn't completely fall apart. Before mile
20 I finally gave in and walked a little. That started a pattern where I
would allow myself a walk break each mile, but would then try to make
the next mile marker at least before stopping again.
Last 7 miles: 10:49, 10:55, 9:49, 10:39, 10:32, 10:36, 10:02 and a 9:11 pace for the last chunk (0.40 for me)
last 7 were just pure exhaustion. My strategy worked and I was able to
limit the walks to about a minute or so. Sure I slowed a lot, but I
didn't totally fall apart like the previous LA races. At 24.5 my calf
cramped up, but I stretched it on a curb and was able to get it to
function again. The last mile we could see the finish and I vowed not to
walk for the last 1.2, but I was grimacing and suffering. Oh my God it
Finally the finish arrived and I could stop moving.
3:52:38. I was glad to break 4 hours and conquer LA. Revenge was mine!
Not an optimal race, but I never quit and I finished 31 minutes better
than last time, so I am calling it a victory.
I could go on and on about the pain, but you get the idea. Eventually it subsided, but I was walking funny for a few days.
It took 30 years to get from marathon #1 to marathon #6. The next 6 would only take 5 years.
Next: Episode 7: The BQ Force Awakens (2011)