In April 2004, I asked Shane if he would be interested in running the 2005 Los Angeles Marathon. I had run the marathon in 1995 and this would be the 10th anniversary of that marathon. We've been training since then and on March 6, 2005, we finally ran it!

First, some quick stats:

   Total training miles   Marathon time   Marathon pace 
 Bernard  616.77 miles 04:51:44  11:13 minutes per mile 
Shane  507.27 miles 04:51:47  11:13 minutes per mile 

This definitely does not tell the story of what happened at the marathon. Our plan was to finish the marathon in 04:30. We figured we would try to stick to a 10 minute mile pace for the most part (which would bring us to the finish at about 04:20). There would be some parts that would be harder, and we would probably lose 10 minutes or so somewhere in there, which would bring our finish time to 04:30.

The first 20 miles actually went according to plan. We were running just behind a 10 minute mile pace up until that point, and then I started cramping. It started in my calves, but very quickly it was both calves and both quads. When it's just the calves or just the quads, it's still possible to compensate and continue running, but I had to slow to a walk. I ended up doing a combination of walking and slow jogging for the remaining six miles.

Shane stuck with me for a mile, but my pace was a little too erratic. He took off saying that we would meet up at mile 25 and finish the race together. When I reached mile 25, he was there, and we continued alternating a bit of walking and running until the end. Naturally, we had to run right at the end. At the finish line, Shane slowed down so he could take some pictures and videos with the camera that he brought along for the run. As a result, my finishing time was 3 seconds faster than his, but really I owe my thanks to Shane for accompanying me at the end.

We had a cheering squad made up of Anna, Dawn, Romain, Shane's brother, and Shane's sister in law. They were great -- they drove from point to point along the course so they could cheer us on. They waited for us at miles 2, 4, 12, 17, 20, 21 and at the finish line and each time we would hear the cow bell, the whistles, and the yelling as we got near. They also brought out bananas and orange slices, though we didn't end up eating a lot of it.

One thing we didn't practice during our training was eating while running. We tried some kind of energy goo, but it's very sweet and thick, and unfortunately we had just passed a water station. The bananas and oranges were good, but they made us sticky. The same was true of the Gatorade that they served every other mile. We generally grabbed an extra cup of water to either wash off or dump on our heads. Towards the end, there were a couple of water stations that gave out wet sponges. Those were really nice. It was 69o F and there was very little shade. 69o F may sound nice and cool, but it's pretty warm for running weather.

Agnes, who came to the race a little later, waited for us at the finish line. She saw her co-worker Braden (03:59:10) as well as Scott Bakula of Enterprise, Necessary Roughness and Quantum Leap fame (04:10:21). We all met up at the end, skipped the pizza, hotdogs, nachos and garlic fries (Sorry Shane!), and had a sensible meal at California Pizza Kitchen.

I'm really glad we ran this marathon. I originally wanted to run it because I felt I just wasn't getting exercise consistently enough. I have a much better sense of how to fit exercise into my life now, and I had a lot of fun. We, of course, have a bunch of pictures, and we have archived the information from training for the marathon.