Crossing the Finish Line - Dana at the LA Marathon

I have to be the first to admit that I never thought I could do it.  Never.  Not ever.  Not in a million years.  

Yesterday, I ran the LA Marathon. 

"Daddy, you stink!"  Guess Marilyn didn't really appreciate what 26.2 miles did to the way Daddy smells. Sorry, girls---nothing a shower can't fix.

It all started with small changes---I started biking to work and eating a plant-based diet almost two years ago.  Got some decent hiking under my belt.  Then last October, I entered and finished the Newport Beach Sprint Triathlon.

Once that happened, I figured 'why not go all the way?' and signed up for the LA Marathon.  With an amazing course taking runners from near Dodger Stadium all the way to Santa Monica, it seemed like a huge, but very rewarding challenge.  

Here's a map of the route---I still can't believe I ran this!

I started training, using some online tools and apps like RunKeeper, and spent three months building up my stamina and distance running. 

Now that it's over, I can defintely say it's the toughest thing I've ever done.  About 6 miles from the end of the race, the little devil on my shoulder started telling me everything I wanted to hear ("you don't have to run anymore", "take it easy, Dana," "won't it feel great to walk?"), but I was determined to run the entire course.  I'm really grateful for all the awesome marathon volunteers who spent the race cheering runners on along the course---it definitely helps!  It also helped knowing that Melanie and the girls were in Santa Monica, waiting for me to get to the finish line!

Not sure I'm going to run another full marathon any time soon (feels good to check that one off the list), but I'm definitely thinking a few half-marathons might be in my future.