Los Angeles Marathon Race Recap and P to the R

Maybe I really am Irish because today was my lucky day Winking smile

los angeles marathon finish

I PRd at the Los Angeles Marathon on St. Patrick’s Day with a new time of 3:42:15!


I’m either officially a leprechaun or a chupacabra. One of those.

Last night I stayed at Steve’s because he has done the LA Marathon for 8 years and knows the drill. I’ve heard horror stories about the logistics of this race because it’s a point to point course – starting at Dodger Stadium and ending 26 miles away in Santa Monica.

la marathon course

My friend Michelle left me a good luck note!

good luck marathon sign

Steve knows me very well and was prepped with tons of watermelon for pre-race fuel.

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So, Steve woke me up in the morning shouting, “Ready for a PR?!”

I told him No because I haven’t been training hard for this race. I really didn’t expect to have such a good run because my legs have been taking a long time to recover and it was supposed to be really hot. I haven’t been running with his group so he was just throwing it out there – I don’t think either one of us expected me to have such a strong race.los angeles marathon 2013 pre race

I was sporting my Pro Compression shamrock socks! Love them! That red sweater was my throw away gear. image

Skinny Runner and I were in corral C because she’s a Cutie with a capital C.skinnyrunner los angeles marathon

Okay now for the question you all want to know… how were you born with bright red hair unless your mom is hiding something?

Why / How did I PR again?!

I kinda think God is playing a joke on me on some level?

I really DO NOT know who is showing up on race day so I can’t predict a good or bad race. Around mile 8 of any full marathon or half marathon I’ll know who showed up. It’s either:

A.) Fun fun Monican who’s there for a good time. “Listen I need to save some energy for my frozen yogurt marathon after the race – don’t rush me!”

B.) Type “C” personality Monican that wants to do well, but doesn’t care enough to get uncomfortable and do it to it.

C.) Serious as sht Monican who is in it to win it. <- This illusive Monican only shows up on very rare occasions after a crescent moon, Venus rises in the west and it’s a perfect 55 degrees.

I actually started the race with the 3:45 pace group just because they were right by me. I stayed with them for a while but I thought they were going out way too fast. After the first crowded/slow mile they were at 8:00/miles flat! No bueno. So, I decided to do my own thing and try to stick to a 3:45 pace on my own. image

Obviously I am on a PR high so right now I will say I LOVED the Los Angeles marathon!!! Mostly because the last 2 miles were downhill. los angeles marathon finish

I honestly don’t know why I am rocking races lately. I credit my fueling and I also have been running more – but that’s it! los angeles marathon 2013

The medals and marathon shirts both say with St. Patrick’s Day! LA Marathon st. patrick's day

The shamrock in the middle is a green piece of glass. See?LA Marathon st. patrick's day

Now for the victory lap…

Check out this huge burrito – size matters and this is big one!footlong burrito

The real question is – What do I do now?

I have been running very strong and I’m happy about it. But, I’m hesitant to give myself a specific time goal PR. My big goal last year was just to break 4 hours. I did that and I am very proud of it – but I feel like that just happened. I didn’t think of a goal beyond that.

Today right after the race my mom asked if I was going to try and qualify for Boston. The Boston qualifying time for me is 3:35:00 – that’s still A LOT of time to take off a race. A LOT.

I have a 30 mile ultra race coming up in May so for now I’m going to focus on that. Beyond that I’m not sure where life is taking me so we’ll hold off on another PR for now until I figure it out.

> In other super exciting news Aleksandra Duliba won the LA Marathon for the women! The race has a sex challenge where they give the elite woman 18 minute head start on the elite males.

Question: It’s St. Patrick’s Day!!! What are you doing to celebrate?


  1. Laura says

    I celebrated with a beer after a 25 minute PR at the Shamrock 1/2 marathon!!! Awesome time on your full!!!

  2. Jessica says

    Congrats Monica!!! I finished my first in 5:20. So far pretty convinced this will be my one and only full marathon finish. The weather totally cooperated and it was fun to see our city come together today!

      • Jessica says

        I loved the course except for the parking lot portion in the Veteran’s Administration campus around 21. And I had to wait about 6 minutes to use the restroom around Mile 7. But other than that no complaints. Walking 4 blocks to meet Ben at the finish line took me forever as I hobbled over. But I’m back to walking almost normal!

  3. Leah says

    I ran a 3:46 PR in a spring marathon and a 3:32 PR that fall. I didn’t do any tempo or hill training, I am not a natural athlete, I just ran a lot (for me, not for most of you bloggers) and loved it. If I can do it you can do it!!!

  4. says

    That’s awesome that you PR’d… event though I’m not sure what that really means besides the fact that you rocked the race. Anyway, way to go!

  5. april says

    congrats!!! i’m an LA resident (pasadena) and watched the marathon on channel 5 this morning. it looked like such an amazing course – glad you were able to get a hometown PR :) you definitely deserve some frozen yogurt now!!

  6. Gillian says

    Congrats! You are a PR machine! I met Skinny Runner and Stuft Mama in the stadium and we all took a sock photo. I was hoping you’d be with them :) I had a great race, third time was the charm for me, I broke 4 hours with a 3:58:54 (previous PR 4:13:35) so I am going out to celebrate!!! Hope to run into you again soon!

  7. Heidi says

    Congrats on the PR. Yesterday I ran a triple challenge to celebrate St. Patrick’s day: half marathon, 5k and 1 mile. I am sore today :)

    Can you explain the watermelon? Is there some secret I should know about with watermelon as a pre race fuel?

  8. Jessica H. says

    Congratulations, Monica! I think you PR’d because you were not putting pressure on yourself; we always do our best when we’re comfortable (IMO). Either way, you are my running role model. :)

  9. Angie says

    Ok, all I can see in this post is that you stayed at another man’s house…. while married.

    Is this for real?? Wow, what a way to treat your marriage, and your husband. That’s pretty sad. I’d feel so guilty.

  10. says

    That’s FANTASTIC!! I ran a half today that was supposed to be a PR but turned out to be a total flop. I’m curious about your fueling… have you already written about it in another post? Congrats on a great race!

  11. Ida says

    congrats!! way to crush your old PR! I’m sure if you just keep doing your thing you’ll get that BQ time easily.

  12. says

    I ran 18 miles… for this first time in 12 years after 1 knee surgery and 4 children. It hurt… but felt great when finished! (Okay, maybe an hour after finishing. ;-)) And I don’t keep great records but I think I did faster than I did 12 years ago!

    Way to go on your PR!!! I actually can’t imagine eating that whole burrito after a marathon! You rock! LOL

  13. Monica says

    As another Monica who is also not as fast as SkinnyRunner I’d love to see you try for Boston (and make it.)

  14. Lucy says

    Congratulations on the PR! No doubt that you will qualify for Boston. That burrito is huge! Well deserved after rockin 26.2 miles!

  15. says

    Massive well done on your PR! That’s an awesome time! 3h35m is very speedy for a qualifying time, but it sounds achievable…you keep chipping away at your marathon time. :) It’s only 3h50m for the London marathon here so you would have already qualified for that!

  16. Shelley says

    Congrats on your PR! I actually started in your corral but did not spot you or SR :(
    Wasn’t the course and the support amazing? Such a fun race.. and I am proud to live in LA!

  17. says

    Awesome. Totally awesome! I think you deserve to hit the yogurt store, fill up some cups and have those paying scales shut off so you get all the ounces of yogurt and toppings for free.

  18. chandra says

    Yay! You are a machine! Congrats on the new PR! It must have been a lucky day, you got a PR, I got a boyfriend. HA. 😉

  19. Deirdre says

    Congratulations! The years of hard work are paying off. I know you mentioned that you dropped a few lbs recently so that may have had something to do with it also. I am a lot speedier when at a lower bf%

  20. lauren says

    I wonder if you keep heading to PR city thanks in part due to your recent weight loss and getting your thyroid in check (I think you eluded to that in a previous post. Not to mention you can totally tell in your photos!!).

  21. says

    I told you, I’ve been looking at your runs lately and you have been running fast. You ran NOLA RnR easy and you have lots of miles under your belt lately. You hung out with me the night before and there is a lot of good running Chi in my house. Everything was lined up and you rocked it! Congrats! I am very proud of you and now I’m going to train faster so I can keep up with you :)

  22. says

    Congrats my friend!!! So fun hanging with you this weekend! You are awesome! Hope you’re recovering well. Can’t wait to hang out again! Come run La Jolla 1/2 with me!!!!

  23. says

    Congrats on your big PR, that is awesome! I’m no expert but I think you could totally qualify for Boston, you are on a roll! Maybe you should wear those lucky socks to every race, I love ’em! Good job :)

  24. says

    Holy cow- that is a massive burrito! But definitely deserved after a PR, congrats! I’m partial to the runners high I get after any run that is more than a mile, so I can only imagine the feeling of finishing a marathon with a personal record. Now I feel even worse that all I did was drink yesterday for St. Patrick’s day.

  25. says

    chupacabra. Definitely chupacabra. 😉 Congrats on the PR, and on having such an amazing race – must have been picking up some good luck vibes and great draft winds with that amazing headgear, lol.

  26. Steph says

    You never cease to amaze me! Congrats on your PR…you are an inspiration to us all :) Keep up the awesome progress…can’t wait to read about the Ultra in May!

  27. Nicole says

    Soooo awesome!! Very happy for you! :) Have you already done a post about your recent fueling practices? I am dying to qualify for Boston when I run my next marathon in June (Seattle). I just PR’d a half this Saturday in Santa MONICA (1:45:10), so I’m there for the flat 13.1.

    P.S. That burrito say “Champion” all over it.

  28. says

    Wow, fantastic job!! Everyone was getting their shiny new prs this weekend, so awesome. I always notice pace groups going out way too fast- good for you for sticking with your own plan and coming in under 3:45 anyway! Best of luck in the ultra and whatever comes after that.

  29. says

    First of all! Congratulations on the PR! You did awesome!
    I celebrated by racing in my first half marathon of 2013! I did not PR… at all but, I pushed myself hard. So, I feel good about it. It was literally all up hill the second half of the race, the wind was blowing against me but, I pushed thru.

  30. Hillary says


    I also PR’ed at the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach, VA on St. Patrick’s Day! I haven’t been training at all, so I’m not sure what happened, but if you figure out which of the three was working in your favor, spread the wealth of knowledge this way cause it was some sort of (very cold, windy) miracle.

    Thanks for an awesomely inspirational blog. I read it daily!

  31. melissa schott says

    Go Monica! Awesome PR! And really, you should give yourself way more credit! I don’t really believe that PR’s just happen 😉

  32. says

    Congratulations on your PR. I had a race this past weekend too and I pointedly did not beat my 20 year old self and PR. I was so disappointed because I expected to kick at the end and totally didn’t. I’m so jelly.

  33. says

    Monica, congrats on your new PR in the LA Marathon! You’d be surprised on how much time you would be able to cut with some speed work at the track. If you’re already hitting the 3:40s, you can definitely run a 3:35!! Good luck =)

  34. says

    I read your blog a lot but rarely comment (I generally don’t have anything witty to add) but on this occasion I just gotta: CONGRATS on your awesome PR. So excited for you!!!! :)

  35. says

    Question: I haven’t been reading your blog for that long (but I dig it and not I’m a regular). Does a marathon count as two halfs for the 13 13s in 2013?

  36. Pam says

    CONGRATS on your new mary PR Monica!!! So proud of you mi amiga!! :) :)

    Go for that BQ at Boston next! “Si, se puede!!”

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