I’ve been looking forward to Rock N Roll Los Angeles since April. First, I love California – the sun, the beach, the perfect temperature year-round. Second, its Halloween weekend and everyone (well, almost everyone) wears costumes when running. I mean, how fun is that?! (keep reading for some of my favorite costumes)
Rock n Roll LA was my last race with Transamerica for 2014. I wanted to run my best race yet, and raise as much money as I could for ASPCA. I went into the weekend feeling pretty good; I made sure to see my chiropractor for an adjustment and Graston before leaving, and even though I wasn’t running as much as I should’ve been, I felt surprising calm about the race.
BJ wasn’t able to make the trip to LA, but I was fortunate enough that my mom could. Mom, LJ, and I headed to LA on Thursday; I figured that would give us enough time to get settled and adjusted to the time change. LJ is an amazing traveler (I started him young and he’s already been on 7 roundtrip flights). The only “complaint” I got was from a passenger sitting behind us, “He’s very cute and friendly, but he doesn’t like to nap”. Ha! We were very fortunate to have a row to ourselves, and LJ loved having his own seat. I hope he doesn’t get use to that.
Once we arrived, I had expo commitments on Friday and Saturday. RnRLA expo seemed a little more laid-back than other expos I’ve worked. Maybe it’s the California vibe?! This was also a smaller race than RnR Philly, so it didn’t seem as crowded. With less runners registered, I really had a chance to engage with the runners that stopped by the Transamerica booth. It was a lot of fun to talk with runners and explain the concept of the Tomorrow Chaser program! I had a chance to see Pavement Runner (PR ran both the 5k & Half-Marathon), along with Point One Miles. And one of the highlights of my weekend was seeing According to Kelly and meeting her adorable family! Kelly and I were on the same Nuun team for the inaugural Nuun Hood to Coast, and we’ve kept in touch. It’s been really fun getting to know (and see!) runners that I’ve connected with over social media, especially since we don’t live in the same cities – but happen to run the same races.
After expo commitments were finished, mom, LJ, and I explored LA and Santa Monica. We walked down Hollywood Blvd and saw “the stars”, we rode the Carousel at The Pier, put our toes in the Pacific Ocean, danced to street music, and ate really well. We had so much fun!
While I didn’t run in full costume, I decided to run with leopard ears and a tail. It was the perfect complement to ASPCA (and actually really fun to do something I don’t normally do!). I also had the privilege of seeing and running with Dominick, the random runner I met at RnR San Francisco but ended up running with the whole race and connecting with post-race (that’s the beauty of social media). He lives in Pasadena and was planning to run anyway, so we decided to connect and run together.
It was a great morning for racing, maybe a little hot but without (as much) humidity, the temperature was bearable. When I arrived, I went on-stage for a pre-race interview, then spent the remainder of the time stretching and mentally preparing for the race. I was ready to run (and pass a lot of runners!). The 5K and Half-Marathon started at the same time, so the start was congested and a little confusing (was I passing a half-marathon runner or a 5k runner??). I passed Pavement Runner and Point One Miles early on (thanks for $2, guys!) and saw According to Kelly (and her family) on the turn-around for the 5k. We ran through the Los Angeles Olympic Coliseum, through the Arts District, and around Mile 10 we had a great view of the city. There were some great costumes on course and they kept things entertaining: Pillsbury Doughboy, Where’s Waldo, Grim Reaper, Melanie from The Birds, Elvis, Barbie, and Cops. I felt pretty good through Mile 7 but then things started to hurt, mainly my lower back. Dominick was really encouraging and I’m so thankful he was there. He pushed me to run faster & stronger through some pretty low moments. Thanks, Dominick! We hit the tunnel at Mile 12 and it was downhill (literally) from there. We cruised the last mile (high 5’s/low 6’s) and I crossed the finish line with a huge smile on my face. I was thankful to be done, but so excited to have raised money for a good cause!
I was originally told that 13,000 runners had registered for the race, so my goal was $8,000 raised/8,000 runners passed, however only 7,818 runners finished RnR LA so my goal was WAY off (it’s kinda hard to pass more runners than that which finished).
The best part of the Tomorrow Chaser Program is being able to connect with the charity partner and present the check to them. For Rock n Roll LA I was raising funds for ASPCA – an organization that works to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters nationwide. I was able to meet the ASPCA team, and they were incredibly thankful for what I was doing. When Tina realized that I had raised (and passed) $5,454, I thought she might cry. It was such a wonderful moment! For ASPCA, that check is able to help a lot of animals. And for that, I’m thankful.
7,818 runners started and finished Rock n Roll LA. I passed 5,454 runners, raising $5454 for ASPCA! I was so excited! I’m so proud to be a part of the Transamerica team, creating better tomorrows for people.
I am so thankful for this year and opportunity with Transamerica. It’s been an amazing ride, and it was a great way to return to the running/racing world, post-baby. A huge thanks to my sponsor, Transamerica and for my family/friends for supporting me!
Overall Place: 871/7818
Runners Passed: 5454/7818
have you ever run in costume?
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