PC: Tommy Martino

Friday, March 18, 2016

Trisha in LA LA Land

"I didn't come for a fight, but I will fight till the end
And this one might be a battle, might not turn out okay
You know you look so Seattle, but you feel so LA"
~Fall Out Boy 

Ok, ok, ok… so this is more than a month late! Ahhh! I know, sorry mom and the four people who read this blog. I’ve been working insane hours lately, and the last thing I want to do after work is sit down at a computer and write more. I’d much rather dink wine and pet cats. Ha! Enjoy :)


The Olympic Marathon Trials where a whirl wind and the best kind. It's actually been quite fun to go through all the pictures again for this post... it was a once in a lifetime experience for me, elevated by the people I was surrounded by: family, friends and an incredible team from Oiselle.

To put it bluntly, It was fucking fantastic. (Pardon the swear word, but seriously! The F*Bomb is necessary here!) It exceeded my expectations from all directions. 


Oiselle posted a lot of social media promoting the 18 women who had the OTQ. And of course the incredible comeback (but did she ever really leave?) story of sister hero, 3-time Olympian and one helluva an honest human Kara Goucher. The excitement was bubbling over and made me even more pumped to get to LA.

Training leading up to the big day was going fairly well in the sense that I was able to complete everything that I was supposed to do. I was still very skeptical and concerned that the PW-ing (power walking on an incline) wouldn't translate over to being able to run at a decent pace for 3 hours! I was happy though that I could keep my heart rate in the 130-140 zone going 3.8-4 mph at a 10-12% incline. But.... So. Much. Walking! However, there was light at the end of the tunnel! After 7 weeks of no running I was released to test out the legs again.

Coach Elliot had my PW rolling over to running by increasing in the intervals in quantity and duration. I only started running the week of January 11th... and after a few baby workouts to see how the foot would respond and hold up, he then really packed in the miles! Ha! It's so crazy my build up was so short. But we just didn't have time. I did exactly as I was told. I wanted to finish so badly!

Adding to the excitement, the local paper came out to take my picture and write an article. It sums up my story really well. 



I clearly have a affinity for purple stripes. 
I woke up at the ass crack of dawn to get on a flight, landing in LA around 10 AM. I met up with my parents, grabbed lunch and then I headed out for a shake out jog/walk. It was hot. I mean I'm from Montana! Hello SoCal! Although I had only been on a treadmill and this was my first outdoor exercising event in 10 weeks (Hallelujah!), the shock of the 75° weather was freeing but also humbling. I navigated myself to a park about a mile from the house by walking for 90 seconds jogging for 90 seconds all the way there. My goal was to open it up for about 20 to 30 minutes at "race pace." It didn't go well. I didn't feel smooth at all, my gut was tore up (insert gross port-o-pot experience here) and I felt slow and sluggish. My watch confirmed that. The thought of officials pulling me off the course definitely crossed my mind. I jog/walked home trying not to freak out too bad.

Quick, take the picture before they kick us out! 
My parents and I decided we would drive to the JW Marriott downtown where I could check in my uniform and get it approved by USATF. Holy crap LA traffic... what a disaster. It took us more than an hour to go less than 9 miles. After picking up Oiselle teammate Sara Mac, she and I barely made it to check in before they shut the lights off and kicked us out of the elite hospitality suite. 

My folks and I headed to the California space Center for the welcome banquet. There were lots of running stars and good food under the backdrop of the Endeavor space craft, but all I could think of was my heel hurt after a long day on my feet. The banquet was free for me, but 75 bucks for my parents (the food wasn't that good) so I told them to drink as much as possible since it was an open bar! 
New Christmas Ornament 


I was relieved to wake up with my husband beside me, as he had flown in late Thursday night. I had breakfast, a lot of coffee and proceeded on my way as I had a big day including bottle drop off, Oiselle photo shoot and technical meeting where I got my sweet bib. 

The technical meeting had lots of answers to my many logistical questions. I thought it was strange the lack of information involving aid stations, gear bags, security, time lines, etc(and where the heck was my participants shirt?). Most highly organized races provide all this info in the weeks leading up to the big day. But never having competed in an OT before, I thought it was just me being inexperienced. Only later, after the race did I find out how unsatisfied many runners were in their treatment, runner amenities and USATF's race day organization

#OiselleDozen (even though there were 18!)  Looking like a boss.
Can I say how rad it was to hang with all these fasties? 

That night, my dad and Aunt Pat made a fabulous pre-race dinner for me. I then had my typical GIANT pre-race desert (top off the food stores, duh!)  SIX chocolate chip cookies and Andy and I drove downtown to stay with the majority of the Oiselle team at the LA Athletic Club. 

Good night! 


A 10:22am start is great for a non-morning person such as myself. I didn't have to get up before the sun! I could take my time and enjoy breakfast, coffee and other morning routines. It was a beautiful, sunny day! Bring on the heat I thought. That will slow everyone down and allow my tendon to start out warm. I headed down to lobby and met up with team mates Heather McWhirter and Erin Osment. We Uber'd it as close as we could get to the start. 

I got this text when I woke up! Eat your heart out Ellen. 
Look who I ran into before the race? And their matching shirts - how cool! 
Chillin' race day morning with one of my favorites and the only other Montanan Heather Leiberg. #fangirl

There wasn't much shade in the athlete holding area. We all huddled together and tried to stay calm. Pre-race jitters were in full effect. I was just concerned about finishing. I was mentally trying to prepare for the second half. I knew it would hurt.... everywhere! 

Team Oiselle getting ready to fly! 

Officials sent the men off on their 2.2 mile loop. Guess what their send off song was? Nope, not Eye of the Tiger. Close, but they got Eminem's anthem Lose It. Rocking! We watched them fly by and as they came back through they were very tightly packed. After the last runner, all the women were hustled to the start line. I went to the back. I think there was only one other gal behind me. A few teammates joined me. 

I couldn't believe I had made it. I soaked it all in, then they counted us down and BOOM! We were off. Guess what song they sent the women off to? Nope, not the Rocky Theme Song. It was DeBarge's 80's classic Rhythm of the Night. I laughed. Typical. Give the guys the good song! 

Ready to run! 
Spotting my family in the crowd!
First 2 miles loop with Shal and Sarah Mac. I think this was going up the "hill" .... ha ha.
This course was flat as a pancake! 
Running in front of Olympic Stadium with Shal

I just want to take a second to talk about the fans. 

First off my friends and family. They woke up early, piled into a Suburban to get to the course early. My mom made matching T-shirts and signs with all my furry friends! So fun to spot from the course. My dear Kath sacrificed her own race the next day in LA (where she crushed a 4th place finish among the women might I add) by standing in the heat, cheering all morning. It warms my hear and brightens my soul that these people cared so much to fly down to LA to cheer for this race. I love you Pat, Mark, Tyler, Kate, Evan, Kath, Kim, Tony, Mom & Dad! 

Oiselle Volee and the Nest - HOLY SHIT!!!! I pretty much freaked out after finishing the first big loop. I really wasn't anticipating a full city block of birds. My only reaction was to run over toward you. And you yelled even louder!!!  Obviously not a great racing strategy (I ran almost a half mile more than 26.2 by the end of this race) but I wanted to get as close to that energy as possible. I used you all as a incentive for running each loop. I would allow myself to celebrate with hi-5s after completing each loop. I can't think of anything more rewarding. 

The original cat lady... my mom, my biggest fan!
My brother... just walking around downtown LA with cat signs in his back pack. 
Perhaps my favorite pic from the race.... reposted by Laurent Fleshman captioning it "the power of the team." It's true... the Oiselle Cowbell block was INSANE! 
If you knew me between the years of 1996-2004....
this is the same face I make after too many drinks and someone turns on 50 Cent.
"We don't give a f### cause It's your Birthday." 
Michael Jordan hi 5
All in all the race went MUCH better than planned. The plan going in was to walk every aid station and pick one other area every loop. I got to the first aid station, and I thought “No way am I stopping now!” I didn’t want to lose the people I was running with nor did I feel like I needed a break. Famous last words right? In this case luckily no. The miles clicked off from the start. I felt really good running 6:30s-6:40s. I’m sure being at sea level helped too. The heat really didn’t bother me at all the first few hours. It was breezy and I had also been training indoors, so I do think that helped immensely.

Grinding it out
Team Drobeck was epic!
I was so excited to pass their spectating station every loop! 
I’ve run 30+ marathons and I’ve had the real pleasure of a few of those in heat, so I know the drill about fluids. I grabbed water bottles at every neutral station, especially in the first two loops. I carried these bottles for a long time and chugged its contents. Again, not great racing strategy for running fast, but necessary in race survival mode. I had gels taped to 4 of my 8 personal bottles. I ate those 4 gels along with 2 others I carried in my pockets. I was actually stoked my fueling went so well since I really didn’t get much practice leading up to race day.

HOT! Too bad someone ordered soap infused sponges...
so all we had were these dippy towel segments.
I'm sure some intern was fired over that! 
Spectating is hard for 8 year olds.
Having a crit style race was not just great for the spectators, but I was able to watch both men’s and women’s race unfold. I could also easily spy my teammates in our sweet Oiselle kits. I screamed a lot for the women going the other direction, mostly for Kara. Damn, I wanted her in that top 3 so badly. Brave race for her.

Final Turn to the finish line - hurts so good!

I distinctly remember mile 17 thinking, ‘Ah, yes. This is where it’s going to start hurting. But keep moving. You want that freaking medal. You are so close. Time to womanup.”  I held onto my pace until 22. Then I slowed to sevens flat. Now I felt the heat. The street had been baking in the sun for long enough that it was now radiating. Yuck. But the finish line was tangible, in sight, so I knew I had it. I relished the last pass by Cowbell City Block and the final 180 degree turn. I saw the finish line and put my head up and my wings out.


#HeadUpWingsOut into the finish shoot
I got my freaking medal! I celebrated with this former Griz runner Heather McWhirter
Saturday night, Oiselle hosted a kick ass celebration party at the LA Athletic Club. The food was delicious, the drinks were flowing and the photo booth was classic. I'm pretty sure Evan took at least 50 photo sessions! Kara Goucher gave a raw and inspirational speech that brought the crowd to tears. "This is a safe place," she told everyone. That sentence has stuck with me. It's so true, Oiselle has created something authentic, honest and unparalleled. They have an environment for women to try and not be afraid to fail. They embrace the victories and the mistakes. They know life is flawed and that's half the fun. I cannot gush enough about this company and the fearless women who have allowed me to be a part of it's team. Thank you Sally. Thank you Kristin. Thank you Nesters. Talk about being in good company. I'm humbled to be included.

Photo booth fun! 
PARTY TIME! Evan taking a break from the photo booth to help me sign posters with the other Oiselle runners

I've been dreaming about this thing since I found out I was going to the Trials. Knowing I had the potential to earn it got me through countless hours on the treadmill and boring PT exercises. Now it's all mine! 


After two weeks of pretty much nothing after the trials, I was ready to get moving again. I’ve resumed running slightly to five days a week. Never more than an hour at a time. I’ve gone to a few local track workouts with our club Run Wild Missoula which has been so much fun (and ass kicking)! Running with humans, who would have thought would be so fun! I’ve missed the social aspects of running. And I’m trying to force myself outside at lunch again. I truly miss my lunch runs with Jenny! And once I got out of the habit (from injury) of not going, it was easy just to work through the noon hour. But now that I’m able to run again, I need to remind myself that life will go on for the hour I’m away from my desk and go run.

I even raced a local St Paddy’s Day seven miler! It hurt! Both lungs and legs (and maybe a little bit of pride - I was 3 minutes slower than any other time I've ran this race). I know it’s going to be rough getting in shape for spring racing, but I’m looking forward to putting in the work and miles. Until next time!


Run for the Luck of it 7 miler

1 comment:

  1. Hooray! I really loved this post, Tricia. Thank you for writing about your experience! Most of all, I am so impressed by your tenacity and I love how you can really see in all your photos how excited you are to be there!! Thanks for being an awesome member of Oiselle and for repping Montana!