Practicing and writing stories about his experiences on this trip is the assignment Kien was set by his teacher, Sally.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
The 26.2-mile/42.16-km "Stadium to the Sea" route began at Dodger Stadium and ended at Ocean and California avenues in Santa Monica. But before that we had to actually get there. So Lynette and I (and Jef for moral support) got up at 3:30am to get dressed, psyched and coffee'ed. We needed to leave the house by 4:30am to drive to the finish line, park the car, and catch a shuttle to take us all the way back to downtown LA so we could run all the way back to the beach.
We arrived in Santa Monica within half an hour, and then the looooooooooooong wait in the really loooooooooooong queue to get onto the buses which seemed to take forever to move. I was absolutely busting to empty my bladder, and there was one port-a-loo (yes, count them, 1!) close to the buses with a queue that didn't look like it was moving in a hurry. As soon as I got in the loo queue the shuttle line started moving really fast, and Lynette was at the front of the line and waiting for me. I was still lined up waiting for the loo, and then in a blink there were no more people waiting for the shuttle, and we were seriously worried we were going to miss the last bus. But when you've had as much coffee as I had that morning, well, when you gotta go you just gotta go! So Lynette ran off trying to hold a shuttle for me, and after I was finally able to do my business we got on the bus and were on our way to the start line.
The sun had finally decided to wake up, and by now some horrible mangled rendition of Star Spangled Banner was blaring from the load speakers indicating the gun was about to go off. We were lined up for the loos, again, and there was a countdown and then the gun and horns and lots of cheering and music and it all seems like such a blur as the adrenaline kicks into high gear.
At the starting line of the 32nd annual Los Angeles Marathon.
The first half felt pretty good. I paced well and didn't go too hard. I was texting and sending pictures to Jef of the landmarks along the route.
The mass of people climbing up the hill up ahead.
Taiko drummers at the top of 1st Ave hill. It really helped to hear the cadence.
At mile 6 making our way around Echo Park lake.
Running through Silver Lake for mile 8.
The long strip of Sunset Blvd seeing Griffith Observatory and Hollywood sign in the distance.
The transition from Sunset Blvd to Hollywood Blvd.
Mile 12, home of the Academy Awards.
We were back on Sunset Blvd for mile 13 - yay, half way point. I think I looked at Strava and saw I did the first 21km in 2 hours 18/19 minutes or something like that.
Then it was into West Hollywood and through Beverly Hills. Just after mile 16 checkpoint was where Jef and Kien were waiting. A quick kiss from them both gave me a boost to keep moving.
Mile 19 on Santa Monica Blvd. I think I was still feeling okay at this point. By now I had sucked down 4 GU gels and numerous cups of Gatoraid that was handed out at every mile point.
I'm pretty sure it was after this that I hit the wall. Only 8km left. I kept telling myself how easy 8km was as my legs screamed at me. This was the furthest distance I had ever run, and the cramps were setting in. That smiling selfie was also the last photo I sent to Jef, as from that point on it was so very tough. I could not suck down any more GU gels - the thought of having another one made me want to throw up. I tried to talk myself into having one with caffeine, but I was over it. I just couldn't. The course profile write up had said this was one of the toughest points - a continuous 2 mile hill climb. It seemed never ending. I knew I had dropped my pace quite substantially, and was a tad worried I wouldn't make my goal time. After passing mile 25 mark all I told myself was that the finish line was less than 12 minutes away and to go go go to stop the pain sooner.
The finish line was in sight, but it looked so far away. I remember throwing my head back and pumping my arms harder just to propel my aching body forward along this stretch. It will be over soon, I told myself. And then...
When I crossed that finish line it was totally surreal. I told myself I could stop running now, but I was in disbelief at the same time, so in my state of confusion I was wobbling about not knowing if I was walking, running, or collapsing and dying. Stopping moving hurt so much. A volunteer lady came over and said she could stay with me if I needed help. I walked with her for a few meters and then decided I wasn't going to die after all. I thanked her and told her I was okay. She congratulated me and I went and got my medal.
Jef texted me my result. I made it.
Friday, March 17, 2017
March is almost over! Wow. Thought I'd drop in some pictures to let you know what's been happening.
We took Kien bowling. He's been asking and asking and we've been putting him off, so it was about time we followed through. I didn't know how he knew about bowling and thought it was something he had watched. Then when we got to Metrolanes in the city he said he was here the last time he went bowling. We thought he was making it up, but I had forgotten that he went with the folks from school holiday programme - so he wasn't just telling stories again hehehehe.
We've finished up cricket for the season - well actually we are away for the final 2 games and when we come back we are hoping to make it to prize-giving. It has been a great season. Kien has really enjoyed it (for the most part).
We've been harvesting strawberries from the garden. Season is over so we are getting stragglers, but anything is good.
It's also been raining so much! The garden enjoys the soaking, as does the Venus Fly Trap. I hope it will be alright while we are away. We've been really looking after this plant since our last one shrivelled up and died through lack of watering.
Speaking of the weather, in the weekend there was finally a break from the rain so I got Kien on his bike and down to the park for some much needed running around.
Wednesday night we took off - destination LA. Sunday is the marathon!
This is the enclosed "outside" area of the Air New Zealand Koru lounge.
Landed in LAX yesterday to relive Wednesday all over again.
Thursday, February 2, 2017
Its been so long since we've gone out there. I've missed it so much. Its good to go out for the long weekend when the weather is so perfect too. The wind was blowing in the right direction too, and we pretty much sailed all the way down the harbour and past Rangitoto on a single tack.
We decided to go into Mullet Bay at Motutapu since it was nice and sheltered. Its been a while since we've been here. It wasn't so crowded either which is a bonus. We were able to get good anchorage and then settled in.
I took Kien for a swim in the somewhat frigid sea. It was nice to be able to do this. I enjoy diving off the back of the boat into the deep water. It feels adventurous and wild, even though I'd freak out (and more than likely not) dive into deep blue ocean. Believe it or not that scares me to no end! The thought of it makes me shudder. But here in the calm of a beautiful dusky bay in the Hauraki Gulf its amazing.
Kien was so cold he really needed to have a bath afterwards. So a hot bath he got.
Friday, January 27, 2017
It didn't seem like I was all that productive, especially since I wasn't feeling great on Monday and so went home early and foaled into work instead. I just couldn't sit there at my desk feeling the way I did. The constant interruptions and having to look normal when all I wanted to do was crawl under my desk and moan. I was better off horizontal, which was exactly what I did when I got home.
Tuesday was much better. I had a nice time not rushing getting out of bed and a gentle ease into the day. Kien and I both slept in. I needed that; no pressure for doing anything. When I finally got up I went out to the garden and tended to my worms. Bliss! I love my worm farms. Yes, that's plural. I have 2 types - a Hungry Bin and one of those standard multi tray farms. They are doing so well.
After visiting my folks Kien really wanted to climb a volcano. Actually, he specifically wanted to climb Rangitoto. We made a compromise and I took him to Mt St John instead. This is my old stomping ground. Whenever we did cross country in PE class we'd run around this place. It's so beautiful here, especially when the sun is shining.
We found honeysuckle and sucked the nectar out of the ends. We also sniffed a lot of different types of flowers that were rambling along the footpath heading to the car. Good times.
After going home for a little rest we decided to go to the beach. I checked the tides and it was on its way in - perfect for our local beach. Off we went to Sentinel beach.
He said he didn't want to swim, but as soon as I got into the water he wanted to come too, and even after I got out he still wanted to stay in.